Dennis Carstens, 66Dennis Walter Carstens, 66, died Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at his home.
Dennis Walter Carstens, 66, died Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at his home.
Dennis was born February 10, 1946 in Benson to Walter and Lorraine (Erdman) Carstens of Danvers. At the age of 2 weeks, the Carstens family moved to a farm near Hancock, where Dennis grew up. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Hancock. He attended school through third grade in Hancock and then attended school in Morris.
Dennis graduated from Morris High School in 1964 and attended University of Minnesota Morris where he studied history for two years. On April 23, 1968, Dennis was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in the Vietnam War as a military policeman. He was honorably discharged on November 27, 1969. Dennis returned to college, attending Alexandria Technical Institute, where he studied Computer Programming for a year and graduated with a degree in appliance repair.
Dennis was united in marriage to Barbi Johnston on June 22, 1974 at the First Congregational Church in Alexandria. To this union, the couple was blessed with three children. Dennis worked for Shogren’s TV and Appliance for 15-1/2 years. While working at Shogren’s, Dennis enlisted in the U.S. National Guard and served his country for another 10 years. During his last few years at Shogren’s, he started to sub for a rural letter carrier out of the Glenwood Post Office. He started working full time at the Glenwood and Starbuck Post Offices as a rural letter carrier in 1990 and retired on July 31, 2011 due to his health.
Dennis was a member of Bethesda Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 936, American Legion Post 87, and the Mobile Riverine Force Association (MRFA). He was a charter member and past president of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 235 and served as membership chair for 25 plus years. He served on the Appliance Repair Class Advisory Board for approximately 10 years. Dennis served as secretary and treasurer of the Douglas/Pope County Rural Letter Carriers Association and was president for 18 years.
Dennis enjoyed deer hunting, refinishing furniture, reading old Western books, being outdoors, and sitting on the back patio by the fire. He also enjoyed taking his family or friends to Casey’s Amusement Park for a friendly competition of miniature golf, and going to Theatre L’ Homme Dieu. One of his greatest passions was to make sure all military service members were honored and respected. Dennis was also instrumental in helping bring the Traveling Veterans’ Memorial to town and renaming 34th Avenue to 34th Red Bull Avenue. Dennis was touched and honored to be selected as Grand Marshal for this year’s Memorial Day Parade in Alexandria.
He is survived by his loving wife of nearly 38 years, Barb; children, Lori (Alexandr) Lipchanskiy of Fergus Falls, Christopher Carstens of Minneapolis, and Cynthia (Douglas) Paulson of Cedar; grandchildren, Mikkel and Abbigale Paulson; mother, Lorraine Carstens of Alexandria; brother, Richard (Trudy) Carstens of Alexandria; sisters, Elinor (Pierre) Gbedey of Madison, WI, and Marvel (Marlo) Steinhorst of Alexandria; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Dennis was preceded in death by his father, Walter Carstens; and nephew, Ricky Carstens.
A funeral service was held Monday, June 4 at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Alexandria with the Rev. Kent Stillson officiating. The eulogy was given by Doug Paulson. Music was provided by organist, Carol Jacobson, soloist, Craig Paulson, bagpiper, Dave Mackinnon. Interment was held at Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Ripley near Little Falls and escorted there by the Patriot Guard. Military honors were provided by the Alexandria American Legion Post 87, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 936, and the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery Honor Guard. Casket bearers were Grant Hanson, Dale Anderson, Joe Merickel, Lee Kerfeld, Larry Skoglund, Steve Parrish, Ray Kallstrom, Dale Stivland, Leonard Didier and Bruce Nelson. Honorary casket bearers were all other Vietnam Veterans of America members.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.
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