Cover photo for Kenny Carlsen's Obituary
Kenny Carlsen Profile Photo
1950 Kenny 2020

Kenny Carlsen

February 24, 1950 — March 29, 2020

Kenneth “Kenny” Alfred Carlsen, age 70, of Newell, died Sunday, March 29, 2020 as the result of a tragic 4-wheeler accident that happened on his ranch, north of Newell.

Visitation will be held 3 to 7pm Friday, April 3rd, 2020 at Leverington Funeral Home of the Northern Hills in Belle Fourche.  Graveside services will be held 12 noon Central Standard Time on Monday, April 6th, 2020 at the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Fairfax SD.

Memorials are preferred to the Castle Rock Fire Department.

Kenneth A. Carlsen was the third child and only son of Alfred and Vera Zeisler Carlsen. He was born on February 24, 1950 at Mitchell, S.D. His first home was the “North Place” which overlooked the Missouri River. The river and river hills played an important part in his life as it provided an opportunity for boating, water skiing, hunting with Uncle Andy, a partner in the Carlsen Bros Ranch, and hunting rattlesnakes with his friend Vic Koenig.  He attended Star Valley Country School as the only student in his class. Star Valley Students were lifelong friends as they were one big “family”. When the country schools closed, he attended Fairfax School and graduated with the class of 1968. Sen. George McGovern was the commencement speaker. During high school he participated in sports and also attended Boys State as the representative of his class. On a football scholarship he attended one year of college at Southern State College at Springfield, S.D. Other activities he enjoyed were snow skiing and bull riding at rodeos. He loved his mother’s cooking and the plentiful ranch dinners she prepared. He also took several trips with his parents and grandparents and had many stories to tell!

In 1993, he made the move to his ranch at Castle Rock, The Carlsen Homestead!  His ranch was his pride and joy and he installed miles and miles of water lines and fences while making many improvements to the ranch. He transitioned from a sheep ranch to a cattle ranch. Castle Rock, a majestic mountain could be viewed from any place on the ranch and it enticed many to climb!

Twenty years ago, he met Mary Mentele, his fiancé and forever companion. They enjoyed family celebrations and activities and persevered through happy and sad times. They enjoyed activities at the ranch with neighbors working together on branding days and just being supportive and helpful to their “western” neighbors. He didn’t like to travel too far from the ranch, but when he did he enjoyed going to the Spring bull sales.

Kenny was a member of the Castle Rock Volunteer Fire Dept. He was always willing to help with a project as needed.

Kenny loved to give tours of his ranch and if you were one of those lucky individuals it was an extensive tour with a wealth of information.

He is survived by his sisters: Charlene Carlsen Bringelson (Gene); Jeanne Carlsen Nelson (Rick) niece Nicole Jean Nelson and nephew Nicolaus Tate Nelson; fiancé Mary Mentele and her children Elizabeth Mentele and Alex Mentele; and God Daughter, Jess Heil of Newell.

He was preceded in death by his parents Alfred and Vera Zeisler Carlsen; uncle, Andrew B. Carlsen; maternal grandparents Emil and Martha Kehn Zeisler; paternal grandparents Chris and Cecilia Olsen Carlsen; and friend Donnie Taylor.


Celebration of Life Visitation

3:00 P.M. – 7:00 PM – April 3, 2020

Leverington Funeral Home

of the Northern Hills

Belle Fourche, South Dakota


Graveside Service

12:00 P.M. (CST) – Monday – April 6, 2020

Trinity Lutheran Cemetery

Fairfax, South Dakota



Pastor Clark Gies


Honorary Casketbearers

Gary Wendt                                                       Matt Johnson

JD Wendt                                                       Brian Turbiville

Rory Wendt                                                        Lee Hofland

Jim Smeenk                                                         Rod Meyer

Don Turbiville                                              Billi Bacon Seidel

And all of Kenny’s other friends and neighbors.


Active Casketbearers

Todd Hoffman                                               Alex Mentele

Doug Janousek                                         Nicolaus Nelson

Troy Johnson                                                   Clyde Vogt

Dewey Ludemann                                     Brandon Zeisler


To send a flower arrangement or to plant trees in memory of Kenny Carlsen, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kenny Carlsen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, April 3, 2020

3:00 - 7:00 pm (Mountain time)

Leverington Funeral Home of the Northern Hills

715 National St, Belle Fourche, SD 57717

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Monday, April 6, 2020

Starts at 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Trinity Lutheran Cemetery

, Fairfax, SD 57335

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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