School 14
Official Obituary of

Kären Richgruber

September 27, 1953 ~ March 20, 2024 (age 70) 70 Years Old

Kären Richgruber Obituary

Kären Weisensel Richgruber of Arden Hills, Minn., age 70, died March 20, 2024 at a Miami, Florida hospital when her weakened immune system following chronic health issues could not overcome a brief illness she experienced while traveling with her husband in the Florida Keys. She was born September 27, 1953, in La Crosse, Wis., the oldest of Ruthmae and Charles Weisensel’s four children. She attended Blessed Sacrament Grade School, then Aquinas High School, where she was actively involved in Girl Scouts and student government, played cornet in the band and was a high academic achiever, graduating in 1971 as a member of the National Honor Society.

Kären’s first job was as a part-time intern at the La Crosse Public Library, which began her lifetime of employment and commitment to public libraries. Influenced by her own drive and shifting societal expectations opening new career opportunities for women at the time, Kären enrolled in the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received a bachelor’s degree in English literature followed by a master of arts degree in library science in 1976.

Following graduation, Kären married Randy Richgruber, a Sparta, Wis. native she met in college, and relocated to the Chicago area, where she held three library jobs before returning to Madison as editor of Children’s Magazine Guide. In 1984, she began work at the Duluth, Minn. public library’s children's department, later managing library community services. During this time, she and Randy raised their son, Karl, born in 1986.  

Kären was a long-time, active and award-winning member of the American Library Assn. She was an avid reader and early adopter of digital technology, burning through half a dozen e-readers in her later years. Kären possessed a dynamic intellect, as well as a lively personality that challenged out-moded clichés of quiet librarians. She was a creative person who loved color, expressing her flair in clothing, tablescapes, holiday and birthday gifts and jewelry-making.  Kären enjoyed attending UW Badger football games with her spouse and hosting parties for friends and family.

Kären is survived by her husband, Randy; son, Karl; two sisters, Wendy K. (David W. Marshall) and Sara E. Weisensel; brother, Mark C. Weisensel (Teri) and nephew Jack; as well as other valued relatives and friends.

Services will be announced at a later date. Online condolences may be offered at

Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta, is assisting the family with arrangements.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kären Richgruber, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Kären Richgruber?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Kären's memory.


Family to do services at later date


© 2024 Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility