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John David Souder

November 20, 1937 ~ October 8, 2018 (age 80)

A legend in his own time, John David Souder, 80, has left us on October 8, 2018. He leaves our community with his excellence in personality and car art. John Souder will live on forever in our minds, hearts, homes, museums, and stores with his obvious heartfelt love of creating beauty in the steel and glass or our rich classic cars Auburn heritage. This obsession and love for Auburn, Indiana began with request to do an ACD Festival poster to help enhance the newly formed ACD Festival. In 1981, he promised he could do one poster. That one poster turned into 36 years, finishing in 2017 due to his battle with cancer. Some believe his brain was shaped like a classic car. He impacted everyone with his talent to bring our Auburn car history to life. People always asked, why did you do that for free all those years, “because I wanted to give back to my community, I loved doing it so much, I couldn’t quit.” If you needed a logo, bumper sticker, an ad for paper of tv, he was your man. John graduated from Auburn High School “Red Devils” in 1955. He graduated from the Academy of Art in Chicago, came back to the Fort Wayne area, and was art director for WANE TV twice. He also worked for WMBV in Champaign, Illinois and deployed for the Army in between jobs. In the Army he was an artist. His job there was to chart all activities between the U.S. and Cuba. He was involved in the Cuban Crisis and got his mustering out pay in 1963 on the day Kennedy was killed. He spent 40 years as art director for Colwell Industries and also for Rich Ferber of Ferber & Suedhoff Advertising Agency. Many billboards have been seen in the nearby countryside as a result. Blackburn & Green, Centennial, Stucky Appliances, just to name a few. Full page grocery and florist ads were common in the newspaper. Special job request from friends, pageant posters and authors of books etc. John leaves his wife Shirley Faith Souder of Auburn; daughter, Ellen of Fort Wayne; grandson, Logan Bier and wife, Ailsa, and their daughter Ayla of Boulder, Colorado; grandson, Jordan Ross, graduate of IU; granddaughter, Emily Ross and her daughter, Ruth, of Fort Wayne; brother, Robert Souder and his wife, Loretta, of Elkhart; sister, Rita LePage and her husband, Alfred, of Plymouth, Michigan; and a sister-in-law, Diane Souder of Auburn. John was preceded in death by his parents; Gerry and Esther (Drerup) Souder; brother, Tom Souder; and an infant sister, Esther Souder. A reception to honor John’s life will take place from 1 – 5 p.m. Wednesday October 17, 2018, at County Line Church of God, 7716 N. County Line Road E., Auburn. A memorial service will take place at 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 17, 2018, at the church with the Rev. Stuart Kruse officiating. Military honors will be conducted by the United States Army and American Legion Post 97 of Auburn. Memorials may be directed to the ACD Festival. Or DeKalb County Humane Shelter. To send condolences, visit

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