Walter “Keith” Carstens, age 85, of Holstein, passed away on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at the Good Samaritan Society of Holstein. A funeral service will be held Friday, September 24, 2021 at 10:30 AM at the United Methodist Church of Holstein with Rev. Doresa K. Collogan officiating. Burial will be at the Holstein Cemetery of Holstein. A visitation will be held on Thursday, September 23, 2021 from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM with a Masonic service at 7:30 PM by the Alpine Lodge #471 of Holstein at the Nicklas D. Jensen Funeral Home of Holstein. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Holstein Fire and Ambulance and the Holstein United Methodist Church. Undesignated donations will be distributed to these two organizations and used to purchase equipment for the new industrial tech program in the school where Keith taught for 40 years.
Walter Keith Carstens was born on September 27, 1935, to Walter William and Wilma Mae (Ewing) Carstens in their home in Hartington, Nebraska. Weighing just over 2 pounds at birth, he spent the first several months of his life in an incubator in a Yankton, South Dakota, hospital. He was described as a miracle baby in record books in both Nebraska and South Dakota. He graduated from Hartington High School in 1953, and then earned his BA plus 30 hours towards his masters at Wayne State Teachers College, graduating in 1957.
Keith was united in marriage to Sylvia Ann Konopik on December 27, 1956, in Bancroft, Nebraska. Work brought the couple to Holstein, Iowa, where they would immerse themselves in the community and raise their four children. Keith got a job in the Holstein Community School District where he taught industrial arts and driver’s education. He retired in 1997.
Keith dedicated his life to volunteerism and being active in the community. He was a 50-year member of Masonic Alpine Lodge #471 as well as Order of Eastern Star, and he held many offices in both organizations throughout the years. He was a charter member of the Holstein Kiwanis and held many offices for the local club in addition to serving as District Lt. Governor Division 5 for two terms. Keith was involved in the Holstein Scouting Program for 60 years, earning many awards as an adult scout, including the highest award, the Silver Beaver, and serving as a Webelos leader for 40 years. He was a member of the Holstein Heritage Foundation (Country Schoolhouse Museum). Keith was also an active member and volunteer for the United Methodist Church of Holstein. In his free time Keith enjoyed woodworking, gardening, fishing, golfing, traveling, and camping.
Keith is survived by his wife, Sylvia; four children, Debra Haase and her spouse Steve, Linda Carstens and her spouse Randy Petersburg, Pam Carstens, and Mike Carstens and his spouse Deborah Svec-Carstens; grandchildren, Ezra and Kate Haase, Michael and Jessica Haase, Liz and Chris Sterie, David and Rachel Haase, and Paul Haase; great-grandchildren, Gwen, Gavin, Emma, Griffin, Brynn, and Bria; sister, Jan Murray; brothers- and sisters-in-law, LaVerle Miller, Joyce and Jim Hunziker, Bill Konopik and Vicki Tripp, and Bonnie Riggins.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Donna Miller and Kay Bakken; brother, William “Bill” Carstens; father- and mother-in-law, Lumir and Lillian Konopik; and brothers-in-law, Leo Murray and Alvin Konopik.
The family would like to thank the staff of the Good Samaritan Society in Holstein, the staff of Horn Memorial Hospital in Ida Grove, and Holstein Fire and Ambulance volunteers for their care and compassion during Keith’s final weeks.
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