Gary Carstensen Obituary (1939 – 2023) – Williston, OH – The Blade

Gary Carstensen Obituary (1939 – 2023) – Williston, OH – The Blade

News story
By Mark Zaborney
Blade Staff Writer

WILLISTON, Ohio – Gary J. Carstensen, owner of a longstanding northwest Ohio plumbing and heating business, who answered the call – no matter the hour or holiday – to repair the pipes or fix the furnace, died Tuesday at Edgewood Manor in Port Clinton. He was 83.

He’d fallen on Jan. 2, his wife, Darlene Carstensen, said, and had been in declining health since a fall in May.

He retired in 2018 from Genoa-based Siglar & Sieving Plumbing and Heating. The company opened in the 1920s, and he became a partner in 1979, said his son, Randy Carstensen, owner and operator of the business, who worked for him starting in the 1990s.

“He was really thorough and he was really meticulous about everything he did, whether it was plumbing, heating, or air conditioning,” the younger Mr. Carstensen said.

“He was never a hard boss,” his son said.

Mr. Carstensen took trainees to a job and offered an overview of how to complete the task. Then he stood back and watched. If a trainee erred, he’d step in and demonstrate the correct way, “so they learned from their mistake. That way they got the concept,” the younger Mr. Carstensen said.

Mr. Carstensen was a vice president when he was a partner in the business with Joe Fletcher and Joe Verkin. But office work didn’t hold much interest. He wanted to be “helping people with their problems and their situations,” the younger Mr. Carstensen said. “That’s what he enjoyed the most.”

He had residential and business customers in Ottawa, Sandusky, and Lucas counties.

When the emergency calls for service came after hours or on weekends, “he would go out on them,” Mrs. Carstensen said. “He went out on holidays too. I remember there were times it was Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

John Fletcher, whose father had been a partner, recalled Mr. Carstensen’s versatility.

“That was a time when they did plumbing, heating, electrical work,” Mr. Fletcher said. “They did full service design, build, repair, replace.

“I found Gary to be a person of vision. I was always amazed he could diagnose and issue and formulate a solution,” he said.

In the early 1970s, he custom built kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities. He formerly did the plumbing for a lumber company that built many of the schools and churches in the area.

He was born Sept. 7, 1939, in Curtice to Mildred and Leonard Carstensen. While a Genoa High School senior, he helped his father, who was a plumber.

An Army veteran, he served stateside and in Europe as a mechanic working on military equipment and trucks.

He was a woodworker and handy at home as well. He built cupboards and added a bedroom and utility room, Mrs. Carstensen said. He liked to work on cars and restored a Jeep CJ7.

“Anything he got into, he put his effort 100 percent into it,” the younger Mr. Carstensen.

Off duty he enjoyed travels with family – Branson, Mo.; the Grand Canyon; Hawaii; Alaska – and country music.

“He liked to be a jokester at times,” Mrs. Carstensen said.

He was a member of St. John Lutheran Church in Williston.

Surviving are his wife, the former Darlene Zunk, whom he married May 25, 1963; son, Randy Carstensen; daughter, Brenda Carstensen; brothers Robert Carstensen and Dennis Carstensen; sister, Sharon Potter; three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

The family will receive friends from 2-8 p.m. Friday at the Eggleston Meinert & Pavley Funeral Home, Millbury Chapel. Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday in St. John Lutheran Church, Williston, with visitation after 10 a.m.

The family suggests tributes to St. John Lutheran Church or the Allen-Clay Joint Fire District.

Published by The Blade on Jan. 23, 2023.