Obituary: Kenneth Carstensen


Kenneth J. Carstensen, 80, of Houston, Texas, and Phoenix, Ariz., died Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, in Phoenix. Ken was born Feb. 2, 1939, in Davenport, the son of Edward B. and Velma Carstensen. After attending Davenport High School, Ken joined the Marine Corps, where he served as a member of the USMC competition rifle team in California. He married Jeanette Miller at Saint Francis Church in Bakersfield, Calif., in 1960. He and Jeanette have two children: Kenneth W. Carstensen of Bakersfield, and Kristen L. Carstensen of Springville, Calif., who they love dearly. Later, Ken married Ellen Greathouse of Odessa, Texas, and for the last 40 years, Mary Jane Fitzsimmons of Phoenix has been by his side.

Ken was a prolific inventor and entrepreneur, with over 35 patents to his name, and multiple companies were founded to produce and implement processes and equipment he developed. Most of his designs were to improve oil and gas exploration and production. His inventions and products are in use today by all major oil companies in all corners of the globe. At the time of his death, Ken was the owner and CEO of KENNACO, LLC, located in Houston. He was working on improvements to performance and assembly of downhole tubular connections.

Those left to honor Ken’s memory are his son, Kenneth, daughter, Kristen, grandchildren, Chloe, Ceara, Kenley, Alec, and John Tyler. Others are Mary Jane Fitzsimmons, his siblings: Edward Carstensen, Long Grove; Joyce McAllister, Davenport; Allan (Cathy) Carstensen, Cloverdale, Calif.; Judy (Gerald) Shook, Davenport; and Marti (Tom) Hempel, Davenport; numerous nieces, nephews, extended family, and countless friends over the years.

Ken was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, John Carstensen, sister-in-law, Joyce Carstensen, and brother-in-law, Joseph McAllister.

Memorials may be made to a favorite charity. Per Ken’s wishes, there was no memorial service, and his ashes will be scattered among the oil fields of west Texas, where he spent endless hours proving out his ideas and dreams.


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