Friends and loved ones will gather at 5 p.m. Wednesday at 27802 El Lazo, in Laguna Niguel, to pay their respects to David B. Epps, who died Aug. 1. The church's regular Wednesday dinner for the homeless will follow at 6 p.m.
according to officials.
"It is always sad when a life ends too soon, for whatever reason. Had his passing not been so public, perhaps it would have gone unnoticed as he did. This is another reminder to us to take the time to look and SEE people as God's creations. Some have lost their way. Some just need a little help and encouragement along the way," said and someone who knew Epps.
Why a Service
The memorial service is being organized by friends of the church, his girlfriend, and Knab.
"We are having the service for the same to give the displaced, the homeless, the hungry and the underserved a place, and a time of respite," said Knab. "So many of the people that we serve would have left this world without remark, isolated in homelessness, poverty and illness."
Knab said she attended the funeral of one of the church members recently and while eulogizing her, her daughter said that one of her mother's credos was: "If it bothers you, YOU fix it."
"Knowing that we have people in our community that have not even the basics of human survival bothers all of us at Hands of Grace. So we feel called to fix it," Knab said.
Epps' girlfriend, Cindy, of six years, has a friend who is putting together a slide presentation with photos of Epps over the years set to music, Knab said. Flowers from another service last Sunday were donated by the family for Epps' service.
"Our faith treats funerals and memorial services as liturgies of resurrection. We focus on the promise of eternal life for the person we are remembering," Knab said.
The service will be attended by members of the five interfaith partner churches, Wednesday dinner guests, Cindy, and other friends. Local veterans are encouraged to attend to pay their respects, as Epps was a proud paratrooper for the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army.
No New Info
In terms of the latest developments about the suicide, Knab said there is no new information.
"His dad called me to let me know that his body had been cremated at a place that I had referred him. He also asked for copies of the program and disc from David's service," she said.
As for Knab, who has helped many homeless in the community, she said she will fondly remember Epps.
"I will remember David as a fellow veteran, as a kind and gentle soul, who was too fragile for this world at this time. He was creative, well mannered, soft spoken and generous. He also battled the disease of alcoholism, and was not able to win that fight. I am grateful that God put him on our path, and I am proud that we were able to serve him in his need," she said
Addressing Patch Readers' Comments
Ever since Laguna Niguel Patch started reported on the suicide, Knab said she has been reading the
"Maybe I can help a little with that perception," she continued. "Since its inception a little over two years ago, Hands of Grace had been instrumental in getting four homeless people into permanent housing, keeping two families in their housing, and helping to provide meals and showers for the ones that remain."
She said she truly looks forward to the day that she and others who help won't be needed anymore. But, until that day comes, she is going to keep trying to "fix" it.
If you would like to help, they are currently in need of women's sanitary products, shaving cream and razors, sun block, towels, washcloths, and soon will need sleeping bags and pillows again.
"The compassion and support of our community continue to impress me. We are all grateful," Knab said.