Reverend David Leroy Carstens 76, of Portland, Oregon joined his heavenly family on Sunday, October
Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 52 years, Penelope (Sutphin) Carstens and their two children
Jason Wayne Carstens and Holly Noelle (Kobie) Keeton, both of Portland. He is also survived by his
brother James (Sandie) Carstens of Frazee, Minnesota and his sister Janice (Marlin) Fenner of Milbank,
South Dakota. He also is survived by three grandchildren, DeMarcus, Kaleeah and Kannon of Portland,
Oregon, as well as 4 nephews. He is preceded in death by his loving parents, Edwin and Shirley (Hanson)
David was born on July 10, 1944 in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. He spent his childhood days living on the
family dairy farm outside Perham, Minnesota. After graduating from Perham High School in 1962 he
attended junior college in St. Paul Minnesota. Upon graduation he attended senior college in Ft. Wayne,
Indiana. He then decided to attend seminary in Springfield, Illinois at Concordia Seminary.
He met Penny Sutphin in January of 1967. It was love at first sight and they quicky became inseparable
and married in Springfield, Illinois in June of 1968.
Setting off on their new life as husband and wife they moved to Topeka, Kansas where David served his
vicarage for the Lutheran Church – Missouri-Synod. After graduation from seminary they would soon
move to Knoxville, Tennessee and then finally settle in Hickory, North Carolina in 1971 as to pastor to
the Christ Lutheran Church for the deaf.
In November of 1977 they welcomed their daughter, Holly Noelle and she was quickly followed by a son,
Jason Wayne in December of 1978. After 13 years in Hickory David took a calling all the way across the
country in Portland, Oregon and the family moved west. David was pastor at Hope Lutheran Church for
the deaf in Portland, Oregon until his retirement in 2006. In all, serving the Lord as a pastor to the deaf
for 36 years.
He was always an avid outdoorsman. He spent many days hunting and fishing in the wilderness and
even sometimes bringing home venison for Penny to figure out how to cook. He and Penny were also
very active at their children’s schools and David served on multiple committees and boards in the
Reynolds School District in Troutdale, Oregon.
His love for adventure continued throughout his life. While living 2,000 miles away from his family in the
Midwest he made sure to caravan home every summer with his wife and kids. These summer trips from
Oregon to Minnesota and Illinois (where Penny’s family lived) provided David with the opportunity to
sight see the United States. He visited the Black Hills of South Dakota, Mt. Rushmore, Teddy Roosevelt
National Park in North Dakota, Pikes Peak in Colorado and Yellowstone in Wyoming, just to name a few.
This yearly trip became a family tradition for David and his family until David was no longer able to make
the drive in recent years.
A private family viewing will be held at Gresham Memorial Chapel in Gresham Oregon on November 4th.
A virtual memorial service for friends and family will take place on November 17 th and details will be
placed on social media and emailed out to family and friends.
In lieu of flowers memorial gifts can be made to the Parkinson Foundation in David’s name at
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