We recorded a short remembrance music….
[short video, click to start the video] :
Kristen Marie Riedrich passed away on August 19, 2013 in Vienna, Austria. Kristen was born in San Diego, California on October 6, 1984, the first-born child of Edward and Maryanne Baumgartner, long time Coronado residents.
Daughter of a career Naval Officer, Kristen spent her early years living in a variety of Navy based locations, Alameda, California from 1984 – 1986, Newport, Rhode Island in 1986 – 1987 and returned to Coronado in 1987 where she attended Sandpiper Montessori and Graham Memorial preschools, Village Elementary and Christ Church Day School. It was during her kindergarten and first grade years that she had fortune to be taught by two caring teachers who instilled in Kristen the life long love of learning and passion for reading, two traits that would serve as guiding beacons throughout her life. Moving again in 1993, Kristen found herself in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico where she spent hours voraciously reading anything she could get her hands on, receiving academic accolades, participating in community theatre with her sister and father and cruising the azure blue waters of the Caribbean on board the family sailboat. Trips through the Virgin Islands, chasing dolphins and running across the barren landscape of isolated islands under blue skies became her playground for hours of adventure and intrigue. Returning to Coronado in 1997 Kristen completed her 8th grade year at Coronado Middle School where she was reunited with former friends and entered Coronado High School in the fall of 1998. A member of the CHS Class of 2002, she played water polo, placed in the annual Shakespeare oratorical competition, was designated a distinguished scholar and graduated near the top of her class. Never content to be part of the status quo, Kristen attended Santa Clara University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill eventually graduating Magna Cum Laude and at the top of the English Department in Seattle University’s Class of 2007. Kristen was awarded a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship and spent 2008 – 2010 teaching enhanced English to elementary and secondary school students in Linz and Vienna, Austria. In August of 2010, Kristen married a wonderful young Austrian Christian Riedrich, whom she met during a chance encounter on Coronado Beach in 2004. Their “fairytale” wedding at Sacred Heart Church was truly an international event as it united two families from the United States and Austria. Following a brief honeymoon along the California coast, they returned to Vienna, Austria where Kristen completed a second Fulbright assignment and was later employed as the Student Services Director at Vienna’s Modul University. At the time of her passing, Kristen was employed as the Assistant Admissions Director at the American International School (AIS) of Vienna and enrolled in a Masters Degree English Literature program at the University of Vienna. It was in her AIS position that Kristen truly excelled, combining her love of education and people in service by introducing and integrating newly arrived families from across the globe into AIS, the Austrian culture and Viennese life. Her experience here further led to discovery that teaching was what she truly believed was to be her life’s role.
Despite an active and demanding career, Kristen’s life was so much more than work. She filled her free moments enjoying quiet moments reading, walking Bode her beagle, talking with friends, tutoring young students in English or her adopted language of German, traveling to far off places including Italy, Sweden, France, Turkey, Oman and Dubai. She especially looked forward to hikes in the Austrian hills, bike rides along slow moving and vineyard bordered rivers, annual ski outings in the Alps and game nights with friends and family. Much of this she captured and chronicled in photos which she shared with family to let them know, that while she remained geographically separated from them she was enjoying life and was still near to them in her heart.
Kristen is survived by her husband Christian Riedrich of Nagelsdorf, Austria, her mother Maryanne and father Edward of Coronado, her best buddy and sister Erica of New York City, 6 uncles, 2 aunts and 12 cousins and hundreds of friends and professional colleagues. Kristen additionally leaves a lasting legacy to thousands of acquaintances who only knew her through her Sushi and Strudel blog on the Internet and freelance writing assignments for European travel publications.
She is so loved and missed by all who were touched by her grace and presence.
A celebration of life and memorial mass will be offered at Sacred Heart Catholic Church at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 5th.
In lieu of flowers the family encourages donations be made to Active Minds (ActiveMinds.org) a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization that empowers students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking.
Memorial Donations, in the name of Kristen Riedrich, can be made using the below link: