By Allison Jarrell
Kris Aemisseger was a daughter, mother, grandmother, aunt, sister and a dear friend to all who encountered her. Kris was also homeless and lived on the streets of San Juan Capistrano—her home by choice. Kris passed away on Nov. 25, surrounded by her family and friends. Just four days before, she had suffered a heart attack outside of the Starbucks across from Mission San Juan Capistrano.
Gina Seriel, founder of the nonprofit Our Father’s Table, spent hours tracking Kris’ family down while Kris was at the hospital. She contacted relatives from Mission Viejo to all the way to Tennessee. Mark Rindahl, one of Kris’ nephews, said if it weren’t for Gina finding and contacting their family, they wouldn’t have been able to be there.
A memorial service was held Sunday, Dec. 7 for Kris at the Starbucks she so often frequented. Pastor Leland Lantz of the Lutheran Church of The Cross led the service for more than 60 friends and family—both her biological family and her San Juan family—in attendance. Those who couldn’t attend the Sunday afternoon memorial wrote letters to be read at the service, including Shelly Davis, Kris’ daughter, and Marc, the Starbucks store manager.
Those who attended Kris’ memorial shared stories of their relationships and encounters with Kris, including her partner, Bill, who she had shared over 20 years with on the streets.
“We were blessed by Kris and her light,” Gina said. “She will be forever missed.”
Look for the full story on Kris’ life and memorial in the Dec. 26 edition of The Dispatch.