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Posted on January 31, 2018 | 11:12 a.m.

Kristofer Kallman of Santa Barbara, 1948-2018

Source: Nikki Barthelmess

Kristofer Kallman

Legendary native Santa Barbaran Kristofer Kallman passed away Jan. 28, 2018, at the age of 69, surrounded by loved ones. As in life, his last days were filled with classic 1960s rock music, laughter and the love of many friends and family members. 

Born to Robert and Ruth Kallman at Cottage Hospital on Dec. 29, 1948, Kris grew up to become a fixture in the Santa Barbara community. From his time as the lead singer and guitarist for his high school band, The Rogues, to working at Disneyland shortly after graduation, Kris played hard and worked hard.

After graduating from Santa Barbara High School in 1967, Kris attended undergrad at Cal Poly before he earned his law degree at Pepperdine University School of Law. 

Kris was married in 1972 to his high school sweetheart, Betsy Matthews. They divorced years later, and he married Gwen Graham.

Kris and Gwen had a son, Matt, in 1982 and along with Gwen’s daughter, Aimee, they became the family unit that Kris cherished for over 30 years.

Before starting his own law firm in 1984, Kris worked as a trial attorney for a well-known local litigation firm specializing in insurance defense work. He continued his insurance legal defense work at his firm, Kallman & Hankey, while maintaining a vibrant presence in the community through the many social and philanthropic groups he was a part of or led.

A former El Presidente of Old Spanish Days (1994), at the time of his passing, Kris was the president of El Pescatore Club.

Like his father before him, Kris was also a member of Los Rancheros Visitadores and Los Rancheros Pobres. He served as Pobre President in 1993 and 1994. Additionally, Kris was a member of the Santa Barbara Trail Riders and American Board of Trial Advocates.

His past involvement in the community included holding positions on the board of directors for the Santa Barbara Zoo, the Arthritis Foundation, and the 19th Agricultural Foundation.

Through his community involvement and because of his charisma and excellent sense of humor, Kris had more friends than just about anyone.

A member of the “Bark Street Boys” who had a blast playing together at least once a week years ago, Kris continued to take great joy in playing his guitar, singing and listening to classic rock.

Kris burst into song often at random moments, like at the dinner table. Kris also remembered fondly staying up all night with his brother-in-law, Don, choosing his favorite music for his birthday party.

In addition to being a music aficionado, Kris was a fearless and knowledgeable debater about political issues; he enjoyed collecting political memorabilia, as well.

Kris loved football and was a die-hard Oakland Raiders fan. Close friends with his sister, Carol, he spent Sundays eating breakfast with their family and watching football.

Kris enjoyed his many trips to Las Vegas with his son, Matt. He was proud of Matt for his accomplishments as a firearms instructor, and the two of them loved talking politics, going to concerts and spending time together.

Kris went frequently to visit his daughter, Aimee, son-in-law, Greg, and their two precious twin daughters, Avery and Cameron. Kris adored his granddaughters and always had a smile on his face when he spoke of them.

Kris also spent considerable amounts of time with his other family, the Mendozas. Kris was omnipresent at his best friend Mike Mendoza and wife Doodie’s home. He relished his trips to Hawaii to visit members of the Mendoza clan. Kris was extremely honored and proud to be the officiant at his Mike and Doodie’s daughter Kelly’s wedding, as well as at his nephew Robby’s wedding. 

The Kris uniform included a Reyn Spooner, khaki shorts, loafers and, if it was cold, his Ranchero jacket.

Kris valued tradition, and he enjoyed his routine, which included daily trips to Harry’s Plaza Cafe. Kris kept everyone around him laughing with his brutal honesty and constant one-liners.

Even into adulthood, Kris’s nieces and nephew called him Mean Uncle Bubby, a name Kris came up with himself, but his family and friends all knew deep down he was a total softie.

Kris had a lot of fun taking part in the cowboy culture, rock ’n’ roll, football and more, but the thing all of those activities had in common was that it allowed him to spend time with his loved ones.

Kris was preceded in death by his beloved parents, Robert and Ruth, and his brother, Cliffy.

Kris is survived by his devoted children, son Matt Kallman and daughter Aimee Ogrin Connell (husband Greg); former wife, Gwen; sisters Carol Kallman (husband Don) and Tina Kallman (husband Paul); and his two sweet granddaughters Avery and Cameron.

A celebration of life will be held at 3 p.m. on March 4, 2018, at the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum.

In lieu of gifts, please send donations to the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum, a place held special by him and so many other Santa Barbarans.

 

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