Erma Irene Prior Carstens, 86, of College Station, Texas peacefully left this earth to be with her Lord on the afternoon of December 28, 2009. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on January 3, 2010 at the A&M Church of Christ in College Station. Burial will follow in Kensington, Kansas.
Erma was born September 22, 1923 in Reno County, Kansas to Hugh and Melvia Prior. Erma was raised in a loving home filled with singing, laughter, hard work and love for the Lord, and she rose early to milk cows, she memorized scriptures written on a blackboard in the family kitchen, and sang in a trio with her sisters, Dorene and Myrna. She was raised in the close knit community of Peace Creek, Kansas, which was originally homesteaded by her grandparents, J.B. and Anna Clothier. Her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins surrounded her throughout childhood. The Christian family at the Peace Creek Church provided Erma the roots that defined her faith in the Lord and allowed God to fashion her into a woman after His own heart.
In 1942, Erma graduated from Sylvia High School. She then earned a degree in education from Ft. Hays State College in Kansas. Erma began her teaching career in a one room school house where she lit the fire in the stove and taught children of all ages. She later accepted a teaching position in Kensington, Kansas and fell in love with a handsome U S Army pilot, Reed Carstens. The two married and relocated to Olympia, Washington where their daughter, Cathy, was born. They later moved to Burbank, California, and their family was joined by two sons, Murray and Scott.
Erma continued her teaching career at an inner-city high school in Los Angeles where she taught home economics. Following a move to a farm near Kensington, Kansas, in 1962, Erma went back to teaching in a rural one room school. She continued her teaching career in Salina, Kansas where she taught reading. Erma retired in 1980 after 30 years of sharing her love for learning with children. In 1999 Erma, sometimes known as Meg (Mother, Erma, Grandma) moved from Kansas to Texas to be near her children and grandchildren. She spent the last ten years of her life living and loving with a whole new set of friends.
Along with her husband, Reed, Erma raised her children with strong Christian values. She was a life-long member of the Church of Christ and always put the Lord first in her life. Erma never hesitated to share her faith with others, and she enjoyed teaching Sunday school to children, teaching women’s Bible study classes and encouraging everyone she met. Erma will always be remembered for her gentle spirit, her kindness and her faithfulness to the Lord.
Erma was preceded in death by her loving husband of more than 40 years, Reed H. Carstens; her parents, Hugh and Melvia Prior; four brothers, Lynn, Allen, Gilbert and Bruce Prior and one sister, Rita.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Dr. Charles and Cathy Anderson of College Station, TX; two sons and daughters-in-law, Murray and Helen Carstens of College Station, TX and Scott and Jody Carstens of Carrollton, TX; two sisters and brothers-in-law. Eldon and Dorene Rietzke of Salina, KS and Harold and Myrna Dixon of Garland, TX; twin sisters-in-law, Lucine Harris of Salina, KS and Lorraine Bridges of Houston, TX, sisters-in-law Billie Prior of New Braunfels, TX, Louise Carstens of Tempe, AZ, and Delores Carstens of Minneapolis, MN.
Erma is also survived by her beloved grandchildren: Jonathan and Ashley Anderson of Houston, TX; David Anderson and fiancé, Sara Gregersen of College Station, TX; Michael and Natasha Anderson of Dallas, TX; Ryan, Seth, Zach and Alex Carstens of College Station, TX; Mandy, Dani, Trevor and Faith Carstens of Carrollton, TX; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to Salina Church of Christ, 1646 N 9th Street, Salina, KS 67401 or to Lincoln House of Hope, A&M Church of Christ, 2475 Earl Rudder Fwy., College Station, TX 77840.Print This Obituary