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John Maakestad was born in 1918 to Laura Ellefson and Walter John Maakestad in Petersburg, Alaska where his father was serving as a Lutheran minister. Eventually, John also became a Lutheran pastor, and served in Stanwood, Washington, and Fairbanks, Shishmaref and Nome, Alaska in the 1950s and early 1960s. In 1962-63, John attended training in clinical pastoring in Berkeley, California, and in January 1964 began to serve as Chaplain of Alaska Psychiatric Institute in Anchorage, Alaska. He served in that position until his retirement in 1984, but continued chaplaincy service at Providence and Humana Hospitals for several more years. John loved to cross country ski and sail, was active in Sons of Norway, served as Wing Chaplain for the Civil Air Patrol and was most pleased to have begun the Sunday evening Alaska Native Fellowship that eventually became the Alaska Native Lutheran Church. He married Louise Knutson of Oslo, Texas in Septermber 1948, after having met at her sister's wedding a few months earlier that John was attending as a good friend of the groom. Together they raised five children, including including a special-needs daughter who spent some time at Harborview Hospital in Valdez, Alaska. John Maakestad passed away in 2014. For more about John Maakestad, see his obituary in the Anchorage Daily News newspaper.