Professor Andris Straumanis

Memorial service

12:00PM (Noon) - 1:00PM
Sunday, September 17th
O'Connell Family Funeral Home
225 South 3rd Street
River Falls WI, 54022

Visitation prior to memorial

1:00PM - 1:45PM
Sunday, September 17th
O'Connell Family Funeral Home
225 South 3rd Street
River Falls WI, 54022

Andris Straumanis, who is remembered by his family and friends as a dedicated mentor, talented photographer, and passionate historian for immigrant and diaspora press in North America, died Monday, Sept. 11, in Regions Hospital, St. Paul, MN. He was 66.

Straumanis, a resident of River Falls Township, was born March 08, 1957, in Long Island, NY. He was the only child of Alfreds and Biruta Straumanis.

He was a first-generation Latvian-American, his parents having relocated to New York in 1956 after immigrating to the United States the previous year. He received his BA from Southern Illinois University, an MA from the University of Minnesota, and a Graduate Certificate from George Mason University. In addition to his work toward a doctorate in mass communication at the University of Minnesota, he had ongoing projects on Latvian Baptists in America, early Latvian press in America, and Latvian anarchists.

To his loved ones and friends, his love for journalism needs no introduction. Having worked at various newspapers and media outlets over the years—as a photographer, writer, editor, and more—one of his recent joys was being a mentor and faculty advisor to the Student Voice, a student-run news organization at the University of Wisconsin River Falls. He loved working with his students, and took great pride in their accomplishments and work.

In the last decade, Straumanis split his time between the U.S. and Latvia, where he also taught courses at Riga Stradiņš University and Turība University. He was also starting to look forward to retirement, when he would keep traveling the world and enjoy more time with his loved ones. He had a brilliant sense of humor, a knack for culinary experimentation, and a love for all things French.

Straumanis is survived by his daughter, Kaija Straumanis (and husband Chad W. Post), editorial director of Open Letter Books and literary translator, and grandson Aleksandrs, all of New York. He was preceded in death by his parents, Alfreds and Biruta Straumanis. A private memorial service was held Sept. 17 at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in River Falls.

Services are entrusted to O’Connell Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services of River Falls,, 715-425-5644




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5 Responses

  1. As a colleague on an important university committee, Andris’ absence will be dearly missed. He was a stickler getting things right, with uncanny attention to detail. And, by the way, a nice guy! A shocking, tragic loss.

  2. I am saddened to hear of Professor Straumanis’s passing. He was a wonderful mentor and participant in the Baltic Student Association at UWEC. I remember him always being a great supporter of Latvian culture and having a fabulous wry wit about him.

  3. Deeply saddened to hear of Andris Straumanis’ sudden passing. My husband and I co-founded a website LatviansOnline with Andris which we worked on for many years.Working with Andris was a joy-I learned so much from him-his work ethic and attention to detail were truly amazing.He was an easy partner to work with,and during that time, many hundreds of emails were sent between the US and Australia daily.This was all undertaken after his day job-often into the late/early hours of his evening/ morning. Vieglas smiltis,Andri-now you can rest from all the work that you loved so much.

  4. I got to know Andris over the last five years at UWRF. He was a wonderful mentor and colleague while working together, always taking the time to help me think through whatever challenge I was having. I always appreciated how present he was with newer members of our university and taking a genuine interest in what I thought. Andris was always the first to remind me that my loved ones come first and I always valued the kindness he showed me in conversations on how to adjust here in a new career and home.

  5. I’m incredibly saddened to hear about Professor Straumanis’s passing.
    He was our Journalism/ News writing professor during my one-semester visit at UWRF. As an international student with a very different experience with Journalism from home, it was incredibly enlightening to be part of Prof. Straumanis’s course. His immense support and belief in his students will continue to inspire us from the bottom of our hearts.

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