Lenita Carstens

Lenita Bird (Lee) Jordan Carstens died on February 24, 2016 at age 92.  She was the beloved wife of Dr. Robert L. (Sam) Carstens.  
Services were held Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at First United Methodist Church, Ames with Pastor Dave Shogren officiating.  Mary Nelson was the organist.  Burial was at Ames Municipal Cemetery.
Lenita Bird was born in Jefferson, Greene County, Iowa on January 27, 1924 to Zona and Henry Heath.  Her younger brother, Warren, preceded her in death in 1971.  They enjoyed a wonderful, rich childhood on the farm and then in Jefferson where they lived on the farm and in the house her grandfather had homesteaded and built.  After high school graduation, she moved to Des Moines to attend American Institute of Business. There, amidst classes and typing competitions, she met Marshall Wesley (Wes) Jordan.  They married in March 1945 while he was serving in the Navy.  They moved to Ames in 1956, raised their family and were an active part of the community the rest of their lives.  Wes died in 1981.  Lenita married Dr. Robert L. (Sam) Carstens in 1995. They have enjoyed a delightful, fulfilling, active life together for 21 years.  They shared a love of traveling, time spent at their retreat at Rock Creek Lake, faith, ISU sports, and they appreciated every day together.

Lenita enjoyed a wide variety of activities and interests throughout her life.  She worked 19 years at the Registrar’s Office at Iowa State University.  She had a lifetime of activity supporting the lives and causes she valued.  But of two causes she was fiercely proud.  The first was her heritage. Her family played a significant role in the development of Jefferson and Greene County.  She continued to support scholarships at Jefferson schools, supported the historical museum with family artifacts and cash donations, edited and compiled an annual newsletter for members of her high school class, and maintained friendships.  She excelled at finding historical connections between people in central Iowa that tied them back to acquaintances or family of past generations.  The second cause Lenita focused on was veterans. She and Sam flew a flag daily in honor of the many veterans in both their families. She was exceptionally proud of Sam and they enjoyed their annual trip to Branson for Veterans Homecoming activities. They also enjoyed years of attending of Sam’s 163rd Engineer Battalion annual reunion in Tennessee.  She provided special flowers to the church chancel annually for Veterans Day.

Lenita will also be remembered for her Vitamin L, as she called it - L for Laughter. She often had a riddle or joke of the day that would universally make people smile (or groan and then smile!).  She is already missed by staff at North Grand Shopping Center where she shared Vitamin L during everyday exercise walks.

Her son, Craig Henry Jordan (Kim), preceded her in death in 1994.  She is survived by her husband; daughter, Janis Lee Coss (Dick) of Davis, Calif.; son, Ronald Bruce Jordan (Kyla) of Phoenix, Ariz. and Wapati, Wyo.; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and her niece and nephew.

Adams Funeral Home, Ames, Iowa.

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