In Memory

Karl Gruben

Karl Taylor Gruben
On November 22, 2016, Karl Taylor Gruben, passed away after a 14 month battle with metastic lung cancer in San Diego, California. 
Born November 17, 1951, Karl and his older brother, David, were raised by their parents, Henry and Ramona Gruben in Pampa, Texas. Perhaps because his mother was a public school librarian, Karl knew at the age of nine years that he wanted to be a librarian. He graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in history in the early 1970's, going on to get his LLS from the University of Texas in 1973, starting out his official law librarian career in the Texas State Law Library afterward. 
In 1977, he became the director of Vinson & Elkins, L.L.P.'s law libraries, staying with the firm until 2001. While at Vinson and Elkins he met the love of his life, Linda McCloud, in the firm's law library. They married in 1991, while both were still working at Vinson & Elkins (Linda as an attorney). In 2004, Karl switched from private law libraries to academic law libraries. In 2004, St. Thomas Law School in Miami Gardens, Florida, took a chance on Karl and offered him a tenure track position and the directorship of the law school's law library. In 2010, Karl moved to the University of San Diego, School of Law, where he was the Associate Dean of Technology, Director of the Learning Resource Center, and Professor of Law. 
Karl loved being a law librarian all his life – loved everything about it. He will be remembered with love and respect by all who knew him, worked with him or for him. He was a tireless innovator; could see and plan decades into the future; was a gentle, kind and brilliant manager of the amazing talent of all those who worked on his staff; a team player par excellence wherever he found himself. For Karl, it was all about service and excellence – and fun. Karl had a sly, wicked sense of humor. 
The idyllic San Diego life was tragically cut short by the sudden appearance of metastic lung cancer, diagnosed in October 2015. He fought this disease with his usual selfless regard for others by being always upbeat and optimistic, surrounding himself with family, friends, colleagues. 
He is survived by his brother, David Gruben, of Texas; by his niece Erin Gross, and her husband Chris Gross, and their three children of Colorado; by his Aunt Ruth and her two daughters and their families of New Mexico. He also survived by his loving and much-loved wife, Linda McCloud, and his three adored step- children and their families: Preston, Julie, Kyle and Alex Hutson – all in Houston, Texas; Bryan, Linde, Luke and Cooper Hutson in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; and Emily Morrison and Amy March, in Austin, Texas. 
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, all who wish to make a charitable donation in Karl's memory should make one to his or her favorite charity or to Planned Parenthood. All sympathy cards can be sent to Linda McCloud, 6389 Caminito del Pastel, San Diego, CA 92111. In lieu of a funeral and burial services, the family plans a memorial in Houston, Texas at a time to be determined (Karl chose cremation).

Published in Houston Chronicle on Dec. 2, 2016

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06/18/17 04:14 PM #1    

Josiah M. Daniel III

I miss Karl. He was one of those people who ALWAYS made you smile; his cheer and his joy of living was abundant and infectious. And just when he was retiring and planning to move from San Diego back to Texas, he was taken away from us. My happy memories of Karl persist and will continue to live in my memory.


06/19/17 02:17 PM #2    

Cindy Scott (Symington)

Very sorry to learn of this. Karl was certainly one of the nicest people on the planet.  

06/20/17 02:50 PM #3    

Steve McGuire

Met Karl in 5th or 6th grade and we quickly became friends. The man loved to read! Got to know his parents and brother David. His mother Ramona passed long ago but ran into Henry (his father) with his second wife in Pampa eight years ago? Henry is gone now too. I remember a wonderful painting of the Panhandle prairie in their living room, digging a large hole/fort in the vacant lot next to Karl's house and snitching Henry's Everclear. Ted White lived across the street. Went to Red River with Karl, Henry and Ramona one cool, rainy, summer weekend. Everyone read a lot and we had a fire in the evening. Karl and I drove down to Taos on Saturday morning to hang out with the hippies.

Second year of college roomed with Karl, Rick Redus and Steve Bossay in Austin. Mary and Martha Bearden lived in the same apartment complex and we became friends with a family that lived there as well. Joan?, the mother and Toni?, the daughter. 

Karl's maternal? grandparents lived in Spur. Used to drive through there on the back roads from Austin to Pampa. Highway 70, skirting the caprock canyons.

Farewell gentle, kind man, Karl Gruben.

07/07/17 02:17 PM #4    

Josiah M. Daniel III

In June 2017, the American Association of Law Librarians awarded its highest honor to Karl posthumously:

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