Alvin Carstensen

Alvin Hans "Al" Carstensen

Wednesday, July 15th, 1936 - Saturday, June 20th, 2020
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Alvin Hans Carstensen, 83, of Irvington, VA peacefully passed away into the waiting arms of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Saturday, June 20, 2020. Al and his wife resided at Rappahannock Westminster- Canterbury for the last 8 months.

Al was born July 15, 1936, in Albert Lea, MN, the son of Hans and Agatha (Ohm) Carstensen. He was the first of five children and grew up in Owatonna, MN, graduating from Owatonna High School in 1955. Al attended Hamline University and the University of MN before joining the Air Force.

Al served on the first string of the Hamlin University debate team and was also active in dramatics. He won the Voice of Democracy contest at Owatonna High School then won the regional contest and took second place in the Minnesota state contest. He was a broadcast announcer for Sunday services over the radio station KRFO for St. John Lutheran Church in Owatonna, MN. He enjoyed chess, reading, snow and water skiing, sail boating and many other sports. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Antique Airplane Association and Hq. USAF and Bolling Aero Club. He joined the Air Force in 1958 as an Airman, Flying Cadet and was based at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington D.C.

Al’s vocation and avocation was flying. His father gave him an airplane ride when he was 3 years old and ever since his passion has been aviation. He obtained his private pilot’s license and worked as a crop spray pilot at the Owatonna, MN airport and whatever flying opportunities were available in order to add hours to his flight log. He obtained the required education, pilot ratings and sufficient hours to apply with the major airlines. He was hired as a Flight Engineer with Eastern Airlines in Miami, FL in 1961 and was with them until Eastern Airlines ceased operations in 1991. During his career at Eastern Al held positions as second officer, co-pilot and captain. His professional flying included many of the major aircraft including the Boeing 747. He was manager of flying for the B-727 and DC-9, as well as a simulator and check airman ultimately becoming Chief Pilot and Director of Operations for Eastern Airlines at National Airport in Washington D.C. After the closing of Eastern Airlines, Al flew as Captain for Value Jet Airlines out of Dulles Airport in VA until his retirement in 1996. Upon meeting new people, Al's first question was "do you want to go flying"! He had many flying buddies.

After retirement, Al and his wife, Marie, moved to the Northern Neck of VA. In his lifetime he owned 3 airplanes and made many trips from VA to MN to visit friends and family and to attend air shows in FL and WI. He also kept his instructor rating current and enjoyed giving flying lessons to new students and doing check rides to keep existing pilots current with their license.

Al and Marie were married for 45 years. He has two daughters from a previous marriage. He is survived by his loving wife, Marie; daughters Sherry Bonner of Silver Springs, MD and Kristine Carstensen of Charleston, SC. He has 4 grandchildren, Thomas Carstensen, Maria Carstensen, Andrew Running and Elizabeth Running and one great grandchild, Stefan. He leaves his brother Jerry Carstensen (wife, Mary), many nephews, nieces, cousins and host of friends in Owatonna, Northern Virginia and Germany. Al was preceded in death by his parents, sisters, Margaret Brase and Dorothy Caine and brother, Robert Carstensen.

Al and Marie have been members of Light of Christ Anglican Church for many years and lovingly he leaves many sisters and brothers in Christ. Al was active as a choir member for several years as well as attending bible studies in the area.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Light of Christ Anglican Church, Heathsville, VA. A memorial service and burial will be held at a later date to be announced. Arrangements by Currie Funeral Home, Kilmarnock, VA. Family and friends may leave online condolences at
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Service Details

  • Service

    Light of Christ Anglican Church
    9500 Northumberland Hwy.
    Heathsville, VA 22473
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Light of Christ Anglican Church Cemetery
    9500 Northumberland Hwy
    Heathsville, Virginia 22473
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


Donations are being accepted for: Light of Christ Anglican Church.


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Tom Downie

Posted at 09:17pm
Because of the Pandemic, I am living with Art Bergeson in Annandale and he just told me about Al's "promotion to Glory" . Al and you were a blessing to all of us for all those years that we were attending Barcroft Bible Church. I appreciated being able to read about Al's life. Yes. My memories of Al are that flying was one of Al's main passions. I am so thankful for Al and yourself. My wife, Patty, is a nurse at Virginia Hospital Center and at risk with patients that have the COVID virus, but she loves helping the patients. We too are attending an Anglican Church called Restoration Anglican Church in Arlington. May the God of all comfort give you peace in your heart that Al is in a better place. As Norm and Dody said, we look forward to seeing Al again! Blessings, Tom Downie

Paul and Joanne Laird

Posted at 05:21pm
Dearest Al, our hearts are broken at your passing. We knew you for almost 30 years and we never saw you without a smile on your face. You were always so interesting to talk to and had such wonderful stories to tell. Meeting you and Marie was a result of our shared love for our Yorkie puppies— not sure which of us have had more of them. Hopefully you are seeing Rags, Pookie and Clementine again up in heaven. Your passing has definitely left a hole in our hearts. Paul and Joanne Laird

Norman & Dody Douglas

Posted at 04:48pm
Al, Thank you for your friendship. You taught me how to fly, will always be a special place in my heart for you. We had fun times together, we even got to share the love of the Northern Neck.
Marie, love you and God loves you. Dody and I hope to see you soon. So sorry, Norm & Dody..

Howard Attiliis

Posted at 06:28am
More than anything, it was always a pleasure just conversing with Al. We often pictured him in flight as he shared his experiences in the air with us. One of the calmest people we’ve ever known, which seemed to match well with his love of the clouds. And it all came so naturally to him. We will miss you old friend, but never forget you. Fly High Al, and touch the stars. Hap and Cat Attiliis

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