July 6, 1933 – February 4, 2014
Averell J. Karstens passed away February 1, 2014 at age 80 years, 6 months, 26 days. The son of Gerhard and Elsie (Claussen) Karstens, he was born July 6, 1933 at his parents’ farm home near Wiota, Iowa. He attended country school and then the Anita Public School graduating with the class of 1951. He attended Simpson College for two years, then was drafted into the U.S. Army. While in the Army he served in Germany during the years 1954-55. After being honorably discharged in 1955, he continued his college education at Simpson, graduating in 1957. He then was employed by Bankers Life Company, now Principal Financial Group, and retired in 1998.
He is survived by his son, Brad (Gina) Karstens, daughter, Tara Karstens; grandsons, Justin (Kari), Joshua, and Brandon Karstens, granddaughter, Taylor Karstens; great grandsons, Rowan and Logan Karstens; brother, Gene (Kathy) Karstens; and nephews, Geoff (Mary Jean) and Kyle (Debbie) Karstens.
An avid water skier, Ave spent numerous summers supporting the water-ski team on Lake Panorama and was most proud of the fact that he water skied for his grandkids on his 70th birthday. He enjoyed snow skiing and annual trips to Loveland and Aspen, Colorado, and always looked forward to an annual fishing trip in Canada, which was an excellent excuse every year to load up on new tackle and gear. He loved his grandchildren and took every available opportunity to play them his favorite humorous Spike Jones recordings. Always fond of a chuckle, he was still able to laugh at Far Side cartoons nearly 20 years after the end of syndication. He is and will be missed by us all.
Ave will be buried within one mile of where he spent his childhood years.
Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, February 10, 2014 at the First Christian Church, 2500 University Ave, Des Moines, Iowa with the family greeting friends one hour prior to service time. Inurnment will be in the First Lutheran Church Cemetery near Wiota.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to First Christian Church Foundation or the Des Moines Playhouse.www.ilesfuneralhomes.com