Patricia Carstensen, 66, of Normal, IL passed away Saturday November 5, 2022, at Bromen Medical Center. Pat was born November 8, 1955, in Davenport, IA to Howard and Gladys (nee Adrian) Carstensen. She married Scott Lowe, her lifetime partner, on October 3, 1994, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is survived by her husband Scott, sister Joan (Paul) Tracy, and many in-laws and nieces and nephews.
Memorial service will be held Sunday, November 12, 2023 at 1:00pm, at Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home with visitation from 12:30pm until the time of service at the funeral home.
She graduated from Davenport, IA West high school and gained a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy in 1980 from the U of Iowa, and a partially completed Master of Arts degree, also from Iowa. She taught piano privately in Iowa City, IA and around Naperville, IL for years where she gained a reputation as a patient and dedicated teacher who produced accomplished students. She played the viola in high school and was known for having a beautiful singing voice, which she inherited from her father. The music of Bach was always at the top of her list.
Pat was a great nature lover. She found continual pleasure in watching animals and birds in the yard and over the course of her adult life, had a total of ten cats, on top of the five dogs the family had when she was growing up. Pat's pets were her family and it wasn't complete unless she had furry children running around the house. Her favorite cat breed was Maine Coon, which she had five of, but she cherished them all equally.
Pat demonstrated her love of nature not only in the way she cared for her pets but in her elaborate flower and plant bed designs that she developed for each of the houses she lived in. They were always big and bold with an abundance of plant variety, a profusion of complementing colors, all designed to enhance their visual interest throughout the growing season. Roses became one of her favorites while living out west which she cultivated to perfection in the hot dry climate.
Pat was highly independent and resourceful from years of solitary piano practice. When undertaking new projects, she was able to figure out how to do things herself through a combination of research and trial-n-error. She taught herself how to play the harp, building on her musical expertise as a pianist. In later years, she taught herself Spanish using on-line internet material. She also took to crocheting and produced lovely throws with interesting weave patterns, and crazy new knit hats for each of the nieces and nephew at Christmas, which was always the first gift to be opened.
Pat found great enjoyment when on vacation and found herself shining more smiles than normal. Northern New Mexico was a favorite, where she got married, and she collected numerous pieces of native American artwork which decorated the house. San Francisco was her top favorite destination which she traveled to on five separate occasions. Pat was the official picture-taker while on vacation and given her appreciation of nature, there was always an endless array of material that Pat wanted to capture to remind her of the good times she had while traveling.
She was a voracious reader, encouraged by her father from an early age, bringing home an armful of books from every library visit. She was a spiritual person and spent years practicing meditation. She was in the process of reading the One Year Bible and enjoyed reading a little bit every day, reflecting upon its meaning and applicability to her everyday life. She was a good cook, learned from her mother, but overtime branched out on her own and developed an almost intuitive sense of what works well together, and she was proud of her Danish and German ancestry, telling family stories she heard while growing up. She loved her family and always looked forward to family holidays when she could socialize, reconnect, and get caught up on all the family happenings.
Lastly, reflecting upon Pat wouldn't be complete without mentioning she was a chocoholic, as was well known within her family. She was always up for trying new makers, especially while on vacation, and found great joy in exploring and savoring the subtle nuances between different varieties.
Memorial contributions in Pat's honor can be made to the Humane Society.