News: Neillsville – Am. Legion Honors Local Vet  (Karstens - 2018)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

----Surnames: Karstens, Luedeke, Holub

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark, Co) 9/26/2018

American Legion to Honor Local Veteran (Karstens - 2018)

Karstens 1 of 3 to be Honored by Legion

John “Steve” Karstens, a local Navy veteran shown above from 1963, will be one of three veterans honored for service in October by the Neillsville Legion. (Submitted photo)

John Karstens, also knows as Steve, will be honored, along with two fellow veterans, by the Neillsville Legion Post in October.

Karstens was born in Moline, IL. He attended William Carr Elementary and graduated from Moline
High School in 1962.

In August 1962, Karstens joined the U. S. Navy. His basic training was at Naval Base San Diego in San Diego, CA, which remained his home port.

Karstens then attended the radar man school at the Treasure Island Naval Station in San Francisco. He reported to duty on the USS Excel MSO-439, an ocean-going minesweeper. He likes to say he “crossed the ocean in a wooden ship,” because minesweepers had to be made of wood to avoid detonating the magnetic mines for which they were searching.

Karstens’ service tour included the Gulf of Siam off the coasts of North and South Vietnam. His duties included communications, navigation and being a radar man.

After being honorably discharged from the Navy in 1966, Karstens lived in Chicago. His occupations included working as an installer for the Bell Telephone Company. He also worked at IBM for five years. He also lived in West Virginia.

Karstens moved to Wisconsin in 1980. He worked in construction with a focus on roofing. For 20 Years, Karstens worked as a painter before his retirement. He remodeled many homes in the Neillsville area.

Karstens has four children: Chris, Julie, Paula and Mark. He also has five grandchildren. He enjoys being outdoors, walking and bicycling. Karstens also enjoys reading mysteries, listening to all kinds of music and working on jigsaw puzzles.

He has traveled often and has been to London, England; St. Barts; Hong Kong and, recently, Vietnam. Karstens also has traveled to do missionary work, including building schools in Central and South America.

Karstens likes to escape the cold winters and visit San Diego, his old Navy stomping grounds.

American Legion Post 73, 6 Boon Blvd., Neillsville, will honor Karstens, Art Luedeke and Terry Holub this Monday, oct. 1. The event starts with a social hour at 4:30 p.m. and there will be a potluck at 5:30 p.m. 



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