Cover photo for Ruby Raelene Carstensen's Obituary
Ruby Raelene Carstensen Profile Photo

Ruby Raelene Carstensen

d. September 2, 2023

April 27, 1945 ~ September 2, 2023


Monday, September 4, 2023

3:00 – 7:00 PM

Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home

Shelby, IA

(get directions)

Family will greet friends from 4:00 – 6:00 PM at the funeral home.


Tuesday, September 5, 2023

10:00 AM

Shelby Cemetery

Shelby, IA

(get directions)


2 Sons – Eric (Ellen) Carstensen of Omaha, NE

Eron (Sarah) Carstensen of Kansas City, KS

3 Grandchildren – Jack Carstensen of Omaha, NE

Savannah Carstensen of Kansas City, KS

Eli Carstensen of Kansas City, KS

1 Sister-in-law – Sondra Kitchens of Jackson, MS

Nieces & Nephews

Other Relatives & Friends

Ruby Raelene “Rae” Carstensen, the daughter of Frank and Opal (Thompson) Shelley, was born on April 27, 1945, in Newkirk, Oklahoma. She graduated from Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1963.

On May 9, 1965, Rae married Errol Jon Carstensen in Omaha, Nebraska, and in 1970, the couple made their home in Shelby, Iowa. Rae worked for the USPS, first as a mail carrier, and later as a mail clerk in Harlan, Iowa; she retired in 2016. In the fall of 2021, she relocated to Omaha, living with her son, Eric. Due to poor health, Rae then became a resident of Heritage Pointe Assisted Living in Omaha.

Rae was an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Shelby, where she was attended Bible Study and served as the choir director for many years. When her children were young, she enjoyed vegetable gardening, and later tending flowers in her front yard. Rae was a traditional “Southern Cook”, making good use of cast iron and grease to create delicious meals. She was an avid reader of Christian apologetics, mysteries, and romances.

Rae Carstensen died on Saturday, September 2, 2023, at Heritage Pointe Assisted Living in Omaha, Nebraska. She had reached the age of 78 years, 4 months, and 6 days.

Rae was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Errol Jon Carstensen, on August 8, 2015; two grandchildren, Ethan and Ean Carstensen; three brothers; and one sister. She is survived by two sons, Eric (Ellen) Carstensen of Omaha, Nebraska, and Eron (Sarah) Carstensen of Kansas City, Kansas; three grandchildren, Jack Carstensen of Omaha, Nebraska, and Savannah Carstensen and Eli Carstensen, both of Kansas City, Kansas; one sister-in-law, Sondra Kitchens of Jackson, Mississippi; nieces and nephews; and other relatives and friends.

The graveside service and burial were held on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, at the Shelby Cemetery in Shelby, Iowa, with Pastor Heather Ploen of United Lutheran Church, Shelby, Iowa, officiating. Rae’s loving family served as casket bearers. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home, Inc., in Shelby, Iowa, assisted the family with arrangements. Condolences may be left online at
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