Project Jukebox Survey
Help us redesign the Project Jukebox website by taking a very short survey!
Louise Maakestad was born in 1927 to Cora Geneva Stedje Knutson and Emil Knutson in Oslo, Texas. She grew grew up on a farm in the Texas panhandle, learned to play the piano and organ, and attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota from 1944 to 1946 and graduated with a teaching degree in 1948 from West Texas State Teachers College in Canyon,Texas. Louise married John Maakestad on September 5, 1948 after having met him at her sister Leona's wedding a few months earlier. John was a young pastor and they moved to the parsonage at Freeborn Lutheran Church in Stanwood, Washington. In May 1950, they moved to Fairbanks, Alaska where John became pastor at the Lutheran Church. In 1954, they moved to Shishmaref, Alaska and in 1958 to Nome, Alaska with John serving as Lutheran pastor in both communities. Louise was a devoted pastor's wife who generously served her community. In 1962, they left Alaska so John could receive clinical pastoral training, and returned in December of 1963 for John's new job as Chaplain of Alaska Psychiatric Institute in Anchorage. In Anchorage, they continued their connections with and ministry to the Native community, and Louise would play piano for services, accompany the Native Outreach choirs, and organized the children's Christmas Eve program for many years. The Maakestads felt it a privilege to be a part of the formation of the outreach that became the Alaska Native Lutheran Church. Louise was a homemaker who stayed home to raise their children, including a special-needs daughter who spent some time at Harborview Hospital in Valdez, Alaska. Louise Maakestad passed away in July 2021 at the age of 93. For more about Louise Maakestad, see her obituary in the Anchorage Daily News newspaper.