Who is Sean Casten's wife? Illinois Congressman reveals daughter Gwen Casten's FINAL moments

'There are no words to describe the hole in your heart when a child dies. Gwen was a happy, healthy, well-adjusted young woman,' said the statement


                            Who is Sean Casten's wife? Illinois Congressman reveals daughter Gwen Casten's FINAL moments
US Rep Sean Casten has spoken about his daughter's death for the first time via Instagram Post (@repseancasten/Twitter)
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Days after 17-year-old Gwen Casten's death, US Rep Sean Casten has spoken about his daughter's death for the first time. Casten shared a photo of Gwen Casten, who died on Monday, June 13, according to the Illinois congressional office, but no other details were released. Casten wrote a heartbreaking caption on Instagram on Wednesday, June 15. "We are grateful to all who have reached out with thoughts, condolences, and help. To all asking what they can do, we ask only that you live your lives as Gwen lived hers."

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Casten also released a statement regarding his daughter's death through an Instagram post, signed by himself, his wife, Kara Casten, and their daughter Audrey Casten. "There are no words to describe the hole in your heart when a child dies. Gwen was a happy, healthy, well-adjusted young woman," the statement began, adding that Gwen planned to study Environmental Science at the University of Vermont this fall. While attending Downers Grove North High School, Gwen exercised her passion for "music and activism" as she played the trumpet for the school's jazz band, the wind ensemble and the pit orchestra for the school's rendition of Mary Poppins.

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"She was inspired by the student efforts in the wake of the Parkland shooting to create an Empowerment Club in her high school which became one of the largest clubs at DGN, focusing on everything from gun violence prevention to environmental protection to LGBTQ allyship to organizing Black Lives Matter rallies to registering students to vote."

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Continued the family: "She had the good fortune to have a community of good friends, teachers, and family and the good wisdom to realize how much she owed them. If her light seemed a bit brighter than most it was because she was so generous in reflecting back the light and love that so many gave to her."


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Gwen died at the family’s Downers Grove home, authorities said. Downers Grove police were called to the home just before 7 am on Monday and declared the teenager was deceased. According to the statement released by Casten, Gwen had dinner with her family and then went out with some friends. When she got home, she said good night to her parents, then texted a friend to make sure she got home safely. Gwen did not wake up the next morning.

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"When she got home, she said goodnight to Kara and I, texted a friend to make sure she got home OK, and didn't wake up on Monday morning," they shared. "The only thing we know about her death is that it was peaceful. And the only lesson we can take from that is to savor the moments you have with your loved ones. "We want purpose. We want to believe in a brighter tomorrow. But the only thing we can control is our present," the statement read.

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Ending with a note of thanks for their supporters, the family said that they are "grateful to all who have reached out with thoughts, condolences and help. To all asking what they can do, we ask only that you live your lives as Gwen lived hers. Savor the moments. Use every ounce of energy you have to ensure a better, more tolerant, more generous, more loving tomorrow. Not because you know that your tomorrow will come, but because you know that someone else's will. Lead with Love."

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Who is Sean Casten's wife?

Casten is married to Kara Casten since 2000. Kara Casten has been assistant vice-president of property and casualty insurance customer experience at insurance firm Kemper since July 2020. Before that, she held a similar post at Zurich North America (for almost six years). Kara achieved her Master’s degree in business administration at Questrom School Of Business, part of Boston University, and also attended Boston College and Northwestern University.

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On October 1, 2019, Casten posted a photo in celebration of his wife Kara Casten’s 19th wedding anniversary, via his campaign Facebook page. “Thanks for being my biggest supporter and the best mom Gwen and Audrey could ask for,” he wrote about Kara. They have been married for almost 22 years.

Casten posted a photo in celebration of his wife Kara Casten’s 19th wedding anniversary, via his campaign Facebook page. (Credit: Sean Casten for Congress/Facebook)

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Family members and fellow congresspeople offered condom scenes to Casten and his family on their daughter's demise. Fellow congressperson Marie Newman tweeted, "There are no words to describe how sorry I am to hear this terrible news. My heart aches for Sean, his wife Kara and their entire family. Jim and I are keeping all of the Casten family in our prayers during this unimaginably difficult time." New York congressman Sean Patrick Maloney also tweeted his support and sympathy, posting, "Absolutely tragic news. Randy and I are praying for the entire Casten family and all who knew and loved their beloved daughter Gwen. May she rest in peace."

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The DuPage County coroner’s office has not released a cause or manner of death and said a determination could take a month or more.