Gilbert G. Carstens
April 16, 1926 – March 29, 2021
Gilbert G Carstens was born in Rockville, NE, a tiny village of fewer than 250 people, on April 16, 1926. He grew up during the Great Depression on a small farm without running water or electricity. He and his 3 siblings walked over a mile to school each day. It was at that small school that Gilbert met Dolores Andersen with whom he would end up falling in love, marrying, and spending his life with, 70 of those as husband and wife.
Gilbert entered the Army’s 29th infantry in July of 1944 a few short months after graduating from high school during the height of the Second World War. He completed his basic training at Camp Roberts, California in December of 1944 before being deployed to the Western Front where he joined units fighting their way through Belgium and Germany during the final months of the war. All the while, it was his childhood sweetheart, Dolores, who sustained his spirit by sending him letters every day. According to Gil, his brothers-in-arms would always beg him to read her letters aloud, eager for a distraction and fresh news from back home. They frequently reminded him of just how lucky he was to have “such a great gal.” Following his safe return from the war, Gil and Dolores secured jobs in Omaha before marrying in the fall of 1947. Three years later in 1950, they built their home on 76th St back when 72nd St marked Omaha’s western edge. Not only was the home they built the first in the entire development, it would also be the home where they lived out the rest of their lives. That same year, Gil’s brother, Bob, married Dolores’ sister, Joan. Sure enough, Bob and Joan built a home of their own on the lot directly next door to Gil and Dolores six years later. Together, the four of them raised their children, built and shared a cabin on Sherman Reservoir in Central Nebraska, and toured the country in the RV they also shared. Gil loved to water ski and was an excellent slalom skier even into his 70’s. Gil and Dolores always loved to dance to polkas and country music. So much so that they would drag Gregg along to numerous “Polka Days” festivals and small town bars with live country music. They also loved to travel and took family vacations every year. However, they never went camping and when Gregg finally asked why, Gil said “I did enough camping in Germany in 1945 to last me a lifetime. When I go on vacation I want to sleep in a bed”. They enjoyed attending home Husker football games and would usually attend at least on away game every fall and often bowl games. Later in life, they enjoyed frequent little trips to local Casinos but Gil and Dolores were always frugal, taking advantage of special offers, free buffets, etc. Gil saved spare change to put toward vacations but he also allowed himself certain luxuries when he could afford them, like his Cadillac DeVille.
Gil was preceded in death by his grandson, Brett; wife and the love of his life, Dolores; parents, and other relatives and friends. He is survived by his son, Gregg Carstens (Julie); grandchildren: Grant (Girlfriend, Jacqueline Clark), Alec (fiancée, Amanda Zamora), Alyssa, and Brooke; brother, Robert Carstens; sisters, Evelyn Henderson and Merna Clayton; nieces, nephews; other relatives and friends.
VISITATION with CDC guidelines: Saturday, April 3rd from 9:30am to 11:00am at the West Center Chapel , with PRAYER SERVICE at 11am. Interment: Resurrection Mausoleum with Military Honors.
To view live broadcasts of the Prayer and Graveside Services, please go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button on our home page.