David Carstensen 1961 - 2022

David Carstensen passed away peacefully on March 9, 2022. He was preceded in death by his brother, Brian; his wife, Grace; and his mother, Cathy. He is survived by his father, Gus (since deceased); his daughter, Rachel; his sister, Carol Christiansen; his nieces, Alea and Miranda Christiansen, Madison and Megan Ellman, and Phoebe Gonzales; as well as various in-laws and cousins.

David was born September 20, 1961, in Portland, Oregon, and grew up in McMinnville, Oregon. He attended McMinnville High School and graduated from the University of Oregon.

Like his parents, David became an elementary school teacher. He worked in San Francisco schools, teaching children at every grade level. In 2003, he acquired a master’s degree in Library and Information Science. From then on, he served as a high school librarian in the Sacramento area.

David’s great passion was to make school libraries appealing and useful for kids. He transformed his school libraries from silent rooms of books into innovative learning spaces where students could relax in comfortable chairs, drink beverages, use multimedia and interact with information and one another. David’s innovations were popular with his students and colleagues alike. He once gave a presentation on a local TV show exploring ways schools could make their libraries more inspiring and accessible.

David was a playful, fun and involved father and husband. The family especially enjoyed cooking and traveling together.

David was also an inherent adventurer; he loved traveling, learning new things and meeting people from all over the world. As a high school exchange student, he spent a summer with an Italian family. As an adult, he participated in language programs in Mexico and Costa Rica and traveled extensively throughout Europe and North America. He spoke both Spanish and Italian.

More than anything else, David loved spending time with family and friends. He had a quick wit and a wonderful, creative sense of play. He loved trivia, movies and music, and had a deeply optimistic view of people and life.

When he was 20, David learned that he was bipolar. He faced this challenge squarely, took his medication, followed his doctors’ advice and lived a full, joyous life in spite of his illness, a success by any measure. In his later years, when his body and mind deteriorated, he faced his decline and ultimately his passing with the same courage and optimism with which he had lived his life.


Web Design and Web Development by Buildable