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Jerald Paul Carstens, 74

Jerald Paul Carstens, 74, of Sarasota, Fla., died Friday, Sept. 18.

He was born to the late Paul J. Carstens and Evelyn A. (Lepke) Carstens on July 20, 1941, in Mitchell, S.D. Jerald graduated from Huron High School, Huron, S.D., in 1959. He attended Huron College and the University of South Dakota and graduated in 1963. He taught school in Brooking, S.D. in 1963. He earned a Masters Degree in Speech Communications from the University of South Dakota in 1965. He then taught at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls from 1965 up to the time of his retirement in 1996. He also took numerous courses at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He later relocated to Sarasota, Fla.

Jerald was a Speech Communication and Theatre Arts Professor and former Department Chair. At UW-RF, Jerald served as forensics director, Chair of the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts, and Chapter President of The Association of University of Wisconsin Professionals. He also served on the Faculty Senate, chaired its curriculum committee and served on many other committees. He did research in several areas and received the International Listening Association Research Award in 1992.

Jerald was proud of the development of the Speech Communication and Theatre Arts Department under his chairmanship in the 1970s. During this period, the department moved from primarily a teacher-training program to areas in business communication and mass communication. He was proud of his accomplishments as UW-RF debate coach. He regarded his work advising students and interns as one of his most significant accomplishments at UW-RF. "I feel a pride in the impact I had on their college and professional careers," he said.

Jerald served seven years as a supervisor on the Pierce County Board and with the local food bank.

Jerald was active in River Falls with foster care and provided foster care himself to several. He remained deeply involved in their lives for his entire life and is considered their "Father" by 2 of them.

Jerald is survived by: sons, James Shuna of Sioux City, Iowa, Randall Esswein, Apple Valley, Minn., and Matt Crotter Carstens; brother, Dennis (Dorothy) Carstens; sister, Vicky (Eugene) Giuliani, Pittsburgh, Pa.; one niece; three nephews; one aunt; and numerous cousins.

The family is requesting that memorials be made to Pierce County DHS, 414 W. Kinne Street, Ellsworth, WI 54011, Attention: Kristi Frederick (in the memo field of the check, please indicate: "Contributions - CYF Account).

A celebration of Jerry's life will be held from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7, at Junior's Bar, 414 S. Main St., River Falls.