Norma Mae (Doven-muehle) Carstensen, age 76, passed away Saturday, February 20, 2010, in Mankato after a two month battle with cancer. She was the widow of former Mankato Mayor, Vernon “Sarge” Carstensen. Together they owned and operated Jake’s Stadium Pizza from 1972 to 1997. Sauerkraut was her favorite pizza topping.
Funeral Service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, February 26, 2010, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Mankato with Rev. Jay Dahlvang, officiating. Burial will be in Minneopa Cemetery, rural Mankato. Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m., Thursday at Mankato Mortuary and will continue one hour before service at church on Friday. Memorials are preferred to the Blue Earth County Historical Society or the Renville County Historical Society.
Norma was born April 25, 1933, to Albert and Ella (Reckow) Dovenmuehle near Hector MN. She grew up on a farm and attended school in rural Renville County. After graduating from Hector High School she attended Mankato, State Teachers College. Norma was united in marriage to Vernon “Sarge” Carstensen on August 16, 1952. She was baptized, confirmed and married at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Osceola Township near Hector.
Norma liked staying busy and had many interests including: Quilting, bird watching, rock collecting, photography and a love of wild flowers. Many in the area may have seen one of her presentation/talks about wild flowers, birds, or quilts. Norma was a very active senior who truly enjoyed time with friends and family, drives through the countryside, water aerobics, playing cards and games, bowling, and traveling. Her scenic photos and hand stitched quilts won many awards. She was an active member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Gem and Mineral Club, Friends of Minneopa, Blue Earth County Historical Society, and The American Legion Auxiliary, where she was the current president.
Norma is survived by her three children, Brian (Elaine) Carstensen of Garden City, Brenda (Wally) Boyer of North Mankato, and Diane Halverson (Jimmy Matthews) of St. James; five grandchildren, Jonathan Boyer of New York City, Christopher Boyer of Rochester MN, Andrew Boyer (Erika Kern) of Mankato, Beth (Adam) Koch of St. James, and Ashley Matthews of St. James; three great-grandchildren, Aaron, Azailya, and Deegan; siblings, Mary Ann Koch of Waukesha WI, Una (Floyd) Walter of Litchfield, and Glen (Donna) Dovenmuehle of Buffalo Lake; in-laws, Norm (Kathleen) Carstensen of Marshall, Vi Anderson of Madelia, and Harold Carstensen of San Antonio, TX; many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Norma was preceded in death by her parents; husband; a nephew; many brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.