Colleen Kristl Pauwels

January 25, 1946April 24, 2013

Colleen Kristl Pauwels, 67, passed away April 24, 2013 at her home in Bloomington. She was born in 1946 in Chicago, IL to Frank & Alyce Kristl and spent her early years in Washington, Indiana before moving with her family to Mishawaka, Indiana where she attended grade school and high school. In 1968, she received her A.B. from Barat College in Lake Forest, IL and in 1971 moved to Bloomington with her husband Gerry where he attended graduate school in the IU Theatre Department.

A chance appointment in the government documents department at Wells Library during this time inspired her to pursue a career in librarianship. Shortly after earning her MLS, Pauwels was named acting director of the Indiana University Law Library in 1978 and became its permanent director in 1983. Concluding that a law degree was essential to success in her new role, she completed her J.D. in 1986 just three years after starting classes while continuing to work full time.

During her nearly thirty years as Director, Pauwels transformed Indiana University’s Law Library from a facility that struggled to meet the basic needs of its faculty and students into a nationally recognized legal research library. She guided the Library’s migration from a wholly print collection to one dominated by electronic resources. As a long-time member of Indiana Law’s Building Committee, her vision was equally vital in shaping the school’s physical development. She was integral in planning the 1986 addition and renovation of the Maurer School of Law, which vastly expanded both classroom and collection space while enabling the school to retain its position at the center of the Bloomington campus.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Pauwels was proudest by far of her large and loving family. She is survived by her husband Gerry, her children Erin and Matt, her brothers Tim Kristl of Kansas City, MO, and Kevin Kristl (Kim) of South Bend, IN, as well as numerous nephews, nieces and close friends.

Friends may visit with the family on Tuesday, April 30 from 4pm until 8pm at Day Funeral Home, 4150 E 3rd Street, Bloomington, IN 47401. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, May 1 at 10 am at St. Paul Catholic Center located at 1413 17th Street, Bloomington, IN 47408.


  • Visitation Tuesday, April 30, 2013
  • Mass of Christian Burial Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Colleen Kristl Pauwels

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Linda and Eric Mjolsnes

May 1, 2013

We are so sorry to hear of Colleen's passing. We were Erin's teachers in preschool and have followed the paths of the family over the years. Our very deepest sympathy from our family to yours.

Gina and Omar Dorantes

April 30, 2013

Omar and I are terribly sorry to hear about your mother passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out for you and your family. Your mom sounds like she was an extraordinary woman. God Bless!!

April 30, 2013

Dear Gerry,
Larry, the children, and I are truly sorry for the loss of a lovely human being.

Darcy Conaty

April 30, 2013

I was so sorry to hear this. Colleen played a large part in my current career in computer networks by introducing the Lexis system to the library when I worked there and turning me loose on the equipment. I'm very glad I had a chance to see her briefly while visiting my sister a couple years ago. My condolences to all of you.

Tim Thilman

April 29, 2013

Tim and all Colleen's family and friends. Rejoice in her life and hold each other close in her memory.

Carl Yirka

April 29, 2013

Dear Gerry,

I'm so sorry hear that Colleen passed away. Like Colleen, I was a law librarian when I went to IU to get my JD. During my time there Colleen was very generous to me, she hired me as a part-time librarian, thus making it possible to get through law school with minimal student loans. For this I will be forever grateful to her.

She was a wonderful lady and a great librarian.

my condolences to you and your family.

April 28, 2013

Dear Gerry:
Our condolences to you and your family.

Richard and Ann Burke

Heather Rayl

April 28, 2013

Colleen was my boss at the IU Law Library and encouraged me to begin library school to continue my education. She was a wonderful, inspiring woman. I'm so sorry to hear of her passing.

Alice Mattison

April 26, 2013

I knew Colleen when her daughter, Erin, was a student at St. Charles School.
I am so sorry for your loss.

Andy Stamm

April 26, 2013

I met with Colleen while deciding whether to go into law librarianship. She was incredibly helpful and generous with her time and advice. She was a big help in what was a big decision for me, and I'll never forget that.

Law Librarian Georgetown University Law Library
B.A., J.D., M.L.S. IU-Bloomington