Karen Sue Gruber

Karen Sue Gruber

September 4, 1972 – August 29, 2018

Karen Sue Gruber of La Vista, NE, age 45, was born in Omaha, NE.  Adopted through Lutheran Family Services, she was the daughter of Melvin and Joen (Larson) Gruber of La Vista, formerly of Benedict, NE.  Karen went to heaven peacefully on August 29, 2018, after braving Rhabdomyosarcoma. Karen was baptized and confirmed at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in York, NE.  She had a happy childhood on the family farm southeast of Benedict.  After graduating from Benedict High School in 1991 and attending college, she worked for Northwest Floral, Nursery, & Greenhouse in Omaha.  She was hired by Baker’s as a Floral Designer and later became a Floral Manager.  Since 2011, she was employed by Midwest Eye Care in Omaha.  She loved working there with coworkers, doctors, and staff.

We are grateful to the doctors and staff at CHI Bergan Mercy Hospital in Omaha.  The pastors at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in La Vista brought words of comfort to her hospital room and shared with her the love of Christ.

Karen was a member of Beautiful Savior, past state president of National Women of Today, and current president of Monarch Women of Today, a service organization.  She participated with the Kops & Kids program and Operation Eyeglasses.

Survivors include her parents; brother, Rick Gruber (Jnel) of rural Benedict; niece, Kelli Gribben (Paul); nephew, Brian Gruber (Kimberly) and their children, Braden and Landon; nephew, Christopher Gruber; aunt, Marian Gruber; Karen’s birth mother, Leia Matsumura (Daryl); siblings: Elisha, Tawnya, and David; cousins; other relatives and many friends.  Preceding her in death were grandparents; aunts, Colleen Heidbreder (Walt) and Laura Abresch (Harold; and uncle, Paul Gruber.

VISITATION from 4pm on Tuesday, September 4th at the West Center Chapel.  FUNERAL: Wednesday, September 5th at 11am at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, 7706 S. 96th St. in LaVista.  Interment: Wednesday, 3:30pm, Bethesda Lutheran Cemetery on Highway 34, west of York, NE.  In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Nebraska Friends of Foster Children, PO Box 541034, Omaha, NE.



  • Deb Hale Posted August 31, 2018 9:53 pm

    Our deepest and heartfelt sympathy to Karen’s family members. May her kind and joyous spirit remain as a constant memory within each of you. Much love to you all. Deb, Mark and Christopher.

  • Theresa Johnson Posted August 31, 2018 10:10 pm

    My family and I considered Karen as a family member. She was up for doing any project I was involved in with Women of Today or Main Street Association. She will always have a place in my heart and she will be very missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you her family.

  • Cindy Collins Posted September 1, 2018 8:23 am

    I’m a better person for knowing Karen. She will always be with me. I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s unimaginable.

  • Susan Little Posted September 1, 2018 5:41 pm

    Karen was a joy to work with. She could always make me smile. A fellow “fur baby mama”, we enjoyed swapping stories and pictures of our beloved kitties. I am so sorry for your loss and she will be missed by many.

  • Hazel Fraizer Posted September 3, 2018 10:20 am

    Gruber Family,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. To Karen, I was known as her ‘other mother’, and I will truly miss her. May God Bless you all. Love, Hazel

  • Brenda Hewitt Posted September 4, 2018 9:34 am

    Karen you will be so missed I loved your quirkyness and ability to be the person who could lift me up when I was down Good has truly taken another Angel RIP my friend.

  • Amanda Stout Posted September 4, 2018 10:45 am

    My deepest sympathy to Karen’s family. She was an amazing co-worker and beautiful soul. Karen, you will be greatly missed by many.

  • Jenny Ristow Posted September 4, 2018 1:23 pm

    We loved Karen so much. She was such a loving, generous, kind, and funny person. We will miss her so much. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Jenny, Craig, Connor, Jeremy, and Victoria.

  • Michelle Davis Posted September 4, 2018 7:42 pm

    I am so very sorry to learn of Karen’s passing. I literally stumbled upon her obituary and it took my breath away. I was a patient of hers at Midwest Eye Care, as was my son. She was so patient and kind teaching him to put contacts in. She had a ready smile and a great laugh. May her memory be only a blessing.

  • Helen Skinner Posted September 5, 2018 5:04 pm

    I met Karen as a patient of Midwest Eye. I had my yearly appt today and immediately looked for my Karen and Cindy. I asked where those two were today, as they were my joy with each eye visit. Karen taught me not only my contact info but we talked about many other subjects. We would often be heard laughing from her exam room. I would say to Karen, ” bet everyone is wondering what we are laughijg about.” I went thru cancer treatment and hadn’t seen those girls for almost two years. When I arrived for my appt I was greeted by Cindy and Karen…when I told them I had had cancer, they both gave me a hug. She was the best..she was a good listener and I have shared tears with her. I always asked about her cat. She was always willing to show me pictures.
    I was at a loss as I sat in that office today. The receptionist and I shared tears and remeberances.
    I will truly miss her. I know the office will too. They were a solemn group today and all shared their grief for Karen with me today.

    • Joen Gruber Posted September 16, 2018 8:08 pm

      Helen, thank you for your kind words. Karen’s dad & I miss her so much!

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