Funeral services for Bill Karsten “aka as local country singer, Billy Kaye”, age 69, of Pease, will be held Friday, October 19, 2012 at 11a.m. at the Zion Lutheran Church in Milaca with Rev. Stephen Blenkush officiating. Visitation will be held Thursday, October 18, 2012 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the Peterson-Johnson Funeral Home in Milaca. Also, one hour prior to the service. Serving as casketbearers will be Steve Miller, Butch Hastings, Bruce Thompson, Allen J. Fox, Larry Fimon, and Keith Cook. Honorary casketbearer will be Mylan Erickson. Interment will be held in the Pease Cemetery.
William Ernest Karsten was born to Ernest and Mabel (Showalter) Karsten on January 10, 1943 at the Bertha Hospital in Todd County, Minnesota. He grew up in Todd County and moved to Minneapolis at the age of fifteen and graduated from North High School in 1961. At the age of eighteen, he started his music career playing around north Minneapolis and Anoka. In the early 1970’s, he moved to Milaca and played music. In the late 1970’s, he went back to Minneapolis, where he played clubs, radio, television, and did some recording. He moved back to the Milaca area in 1989, and retired from playing music and started a mail order business and started driving stock cars. In 1992, he won the track championship at the Saint Croix Speedway in Wisconsin. In later years, he enjoyed buying, selling, and collecting antique cowboy memorabilia. He also enjoyed getting together with old band members and playing music for family and friends.
Bill died Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at his residence after more than a decade battle with cancer.
Bill is survived by his wife, Rolina Karsten of Pease; children, Dorrie (Larry) Goetzke of Milaca, Laura Carpenter of Foreston, Mikki (Allen) Fox of Michigan, Jessica (Jon) Anderson of Willmar; daughter-in-law, Jody Karsten of New Hope; 11 grandchildren; sisters Marge Morawczynski of Long Prairie and Betty Henry of Minneapolis.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Arlene Kulavik, son-in-law, Doug Carpenter, and son, Henry Karsten.