Tauren David Joseph Karstens

February 27, 1999 ~ May 7, 2020

Tauren David Joseph Karstens, 21, died unexpectedly, in St. Paul, MN, Thursday, May 7, 2020. He was loved by so many.

Tauren’s funeral will be held at Living Springs Church in Brandon, SD on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, at 1:00 pm. The funeral will be live-streamed. ( www.livingspringschurch.org Click on the “Watch” button at the top) Close family and friends are welcome to attend if they feel comfortable doing so in light of the current COVID-19 situation. If you plan to attend, masks are encouraged. We will need to keep physical attendance to no more than half of the church’s occupancy limits. Some family and friends will be attending by parking in the parking lot and watching the streaming service.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Feed My Starving Children, The Union Gospel Mission in Sioux Falls, or a memorial may be sent to the Karstens Family, c/o Central Bank in Sioux Falls, SD.

Tauren David Joseph Karstens was born February 27, 1999 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  He  grew up in the Sioux Falls area. As a very young child, he would help his mother, Heather, as she volunteered at the Sertoma Butterfly House. He had learned all about the many different butterflies, and enjoyed helping guide guests around the flight room. Tauren also enjoyed spending time at the Sertoma Outdoor Campus. Tauren loved fishing and kayaking, baking and cooking. His family had a chef’s hat made for him one year. He was involved in AWANA and 4-H, and a fun but little known fact is that Tauren had an excellent singing voice. Another favorite hobby throughout his life was gardening. He had so much fun growing pumpkins and hot peppers for hot sauce.

Tauren was an incredible young man. He had a keen sense of humor, a deep thirst for knowledge and such a loving heart. Tauren gave his life to the Lord at a young age. He chose to be baptized with his parents at Living Springs Church in 2006, and was confirmed at Living Springs in 2013.

Tauren was a very compassionate soul. He loved his family, his friends, and his pets. As a child he helped raise money for those in poverty in Haiti through the organization Feed My Starving Children. After moving to Saint Paul, that spirit of compassion continued. He took a bus to work each day. He would sometimes buy extra McChickens at McDonalds and pass them out to the homeless on the street on his walk home. Tauren brought food to and checked on a homeless man under a bridge near his work. He never spoke about these acts of kindness to bring attention to himself,  just mentioning them in conversation to his mother on the phone, but they wanted to include these stories to ask his family and friends to please,  keep reaching out and helping people you see in need, in Tauren’s memory.

As Tauren grew up, he began to go down a road that tragically, so many do. He began to struggle with addiction. Tauren attended a treatment center last summer and was doing so well in sober living afterward. The family believes the disease of addiction grew stronger again after completing sober living. It is the family’s fervent hope that others will be helped by reading Tauren’s story, and that they will reach out and seek help.

Tauren is survived by his parents, Brian and Heather Karstens; siblings, Luke, Alec, Cassia, Elliana, Lilly Karstens and Alexis Sprecher; grandparents, Lynne Simkins, Daryl and Linda Karstens, Robert Hallberg; honorary grandparents, Nub and Karon Schmitz, and Harlan and Judy Hanson; great-grandparents, David and Patricia Lenker and Grant and Harriet Hallberg; four uncles, Chris (Cyd) Karstens, Matt Karstens, Scott (Amanda) Hallberg, Mark Hallberg; two aunts, Hallie (Steve) Russell and Laura Hallberg; eight cousins, Nolan, Adalyn, Evan, Cambry, Covi, Caiya, Benjamin and Henry; two great-aunts Karla (Wally) Lenker, Cain and Karen (Skip) Fix; two great-uncles Ken (Cindy) Lenker, and Dan (Jodi) Hallberg. Tauren is also survived by his father, Douglas Hanson, and aunts, uncles and cousins on the Hanson side.

Tauren was preceded in death by his grandfather.

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  • Rick and Diane Meyer says:

    Dearest Heather and Brian,
    We are spending the weekend with Jennifer and Aaron and our hearts are breaking for you now. Be assured of our prayers as you walk through these next several days in a blur. I remember these days well and will be here for you in any way we can help.

  • Heather and Brian,
    David and I are praying for you! I am specifically praying for God’s peace to permeate your lives and comfort you.
    Jesus said in John 14:27,
    “I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

  • Audrey Marsh says:

    I can’t even begin to imagine what you are going through…

    Please know that you are being brought to mind frequently and I’m holding you tightly in prayer…

  • Paul and Dena Karstens says:

    Brian and Heather,

    Our prayers are with you! Even though we are far away! Keep the lord in front of you and he will guide you through!

  • Cara Winterringer says:

    Heather and Brian,

    I am so sorry for your loss. My heart is breaking for you. Praying for you and the family.

  • Theresa Tieszen says:

    Dear Brian, Heather, and family. Our family was saddened to hear of Tauren’s death. May you be comforted by our precious Lord and Savior as you walk this journey. He will carry you thru this dark and devastating time. He knows your pain. Hold onto Him and each other tightly.
    Lifting you in prayer,
    Tieszen family

  • Clint and Julie Boerhave says:

    Brian & Heather,

    May the Lord wrap his arms around you during this most difficult time. Our hearts are breaking for you and the family so sorry for your loss.

  • Kathy Johnson says:

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your amazing son. Our 23 year old grandson died by suicide in December. Nothing is worse than the death of a beloved child, and my heart goes out to you. Thank you for being open about Tauren’s struggle with addiction. There is such a stigma surrounding addiction and mental illness, and people need to understand that our loved ones are not weak, or selfish, or horrible people. Praying that you will experience only overwhelming support from family, friends, and even strangers like me. You raised a loving son who had a very caring heart. That is evident by his actions. Cling to the promises in God’s word and from the cross.

  • Mara Klecker says:

    Heather, Brian and family,

    I was just thinking of Tauren this week. My memories of him are from years ago, and I’m so happy to read that he continued to carry the curiosity and compassion that he had as a child. What a beautiful thing to think of all of the people he touched. I’m blessed to have been one of them.

    Sending love to you and prayers for you.

    Mara Klecker

  • Kay Stailey says:

    My heart is with you all. So sad . . . such a lovely tribute to him. I will be with you in spirit on Wednesday. God bless you with the comfort only He can give.

  • Deb Moritz says:

    Though I have not seen Tauren in several years, I have such fond memories of him. He had a way of lighting up a conversation. He asked questions, so many questions, and had a hunger for learning. I always admired that about him. I’m sorry I was not aware of his singing voice. He would have been right up on stage with us had we known!

    Tauren was so blessed to have the two of you as his parents. As evidenced in those things written about him, he grew into a man of character and compassion. I am saddened to hear about his battle with addiction, but thank you for talking about that as part of his life. I can’t help but believe someone will be helped because of it.

    Dennis and I send our most heartfelt sympathy and love to you all. God be nearer to you than ever in these days ahead.

  • Shellie Delaney says:

    I am so sorry for your loss of Tauren. There is no greater pain. My heart breaks for you. It’s been 23 year since we lost Joey at the age of 21 (Tauren got Joseph from him if I remember correctly). I know there is nothing I can say to ease your pain. We will keep Tauren and all of you in our prayers. Shellie & Ralph Delaney

  • DeeAnn Konrad says:

    Brian and Heather – My heartfelt sympathy on the loss of your handsome son. He sounds like a beautiful soul. Following the death of my cousin who struggled with addiction, I mourn more deeply for all who have lost someone in this way. Please know that my thoughts and prayers surround you at this difficult time. Blessed be the memory of Tauren. DeeAnn Konrad

  • Marcia Klecker says:

    Heather and Brian,

    Dan, Mara and I all watched the service online today and grieved that we couldn’t be there in person. We so enjoyed seeing the slideshow of Tauren growing up and seeing videos of the little boy with the unending questions that we all remember. He was wonderfully curious and so intelligent.
    Our favorite memory was when Tauren came tiptoeing up to me after a game of hide and seek with Mara. He’d found Mara, sound asleep behind the couch. She couldn’t keep up with his energy!
    We were so privileged to watch Tauren on the night of your first date together and later see his joy on your wedding day.
    We look forward to when we can hug you in person, share more stories and meet Tauren’s beautiful brothers and sisters.

    Love,

    Marcia

  • Mike Brown says:

    Tauren had an inquisitive spirit. He always had questions for me and I loved seeing him walk into church knowing he would ask me some deep, challenging question. He was a friend and I came to anticipate seeing him each time he came to church. His vibrant heart, love of life, and passion for the things that mattered to him defined his all to short life. Julie and I are praying for your family that the God of peace would bring comfort in this time of loss.

  • Terry Lenker says:

    We are so sorry for the loss of Tauren at such a young age. We remember him as a boy enjoying leading us around a butterfly exhibit. The Terry Lenker family sends prayers to Heather and Brian and Tauren’s entire family.

  • Leanne Knudsen says:

    My heart aches for you all. Daryl and Linda…I’ll be in touch.

  • Mark n Liza Moulton says:

    Brian & Heather ,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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