Allen Carstens, 1936-2017

Published 12:07 am Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Funeral services for Allen James Carstens will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at First Lutheran Church in Albert Lea. The Rev. John Holt will officiate. Interment will be at Graceland Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church. Online condolences are welcome at

Al died Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, at his home.

Allen Carstens

Allen ‘Al’ Carstens was born Oct. 7, 1936, in Belgrade, to Herman and Kathryn (Mohs) Carstens. He was one of 10 children. He graduated from Belgrade High School in 1954, and then attended Brown Institute in Minneapolis. He began his broadcast career in Charles City, Iowa, and then went to Mason City before coming to KATE Radio in 1957.

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On April 4, 1959, he united in marriage with Mary Wasmoen at First Lutheran in Albert Lea. Their two sons were born and raised in Albert Lea.

He retired from KATE Radio after 45 years of serving in many roles. The position of farm news director was the position he relished the most, including the joy he felt from interviewing 4-H members. He also served on many committees and boards throughout his career. He was a member of the Elks Lodge, Eagles Club and the National Association of Farm Broadcasters, of which he was a member emeritus after retirement.

Al loved serving his community, as was shown by his instrumental role in starting the fireworks fundraiser. He also supported many area organizations, including Ducks Unlimited, of which he was a 40-year member. He was the recipient of numerous pranks over the years by his friends, but always got the last word in over the air wave. His four grandchildren were a joy in his life. He was always proud of their achievements and loved them with all of his heart.

Survivors include his wife, Mary; two sons, Paul Carstens of Farmington and Mike (Robin) Carstens of Albert Lea; four grandchildren, Mallory (Tim) Aldrich, Spencer Carstens (Jackie Carstens, mother), Brock and Maddy Carstens; brothers Howard (Dorothy) Carstens and Tom (Beth) Carstens; sisters Betty Miller, Mary (Ed) Lunke and Jean (Randy) Edstrom; and brothers-in-law Gene Hanson and Tom Wasmoen.

Al was preceded in death by his parents, Herman and Kathryn Carstens; sisters Dorothy Stalberger and Shirley (Gene) Hanson; brother, Richard Carstens; brother-in-law, Richard Miller; mother-in-law and father-in-law George and Nylene Wasmoen; and sister-in-law Paulette Wasmoen.

He loved life and his family and friends. The family extends a special thank you to Mayo Clinic Hospice of Albert Lea for their kindness, especially Deb, Carolyn, Tara, Jenny, Cindy and Jackie.