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Born in eastern Washington in 1920, Bonnie Wartes came to Alaska with her husband, Bill, who was the Presbyterian minister for the North Slope in the 1950's. They were based out of Barrow, Alaska, and Bill was the first minister to also be a pilot. In 1958, he worked with people in Anaktuvuk Pass to build their log church, later named "The Chapel in the Mountains." Bonnie helped Bill with his Presbyterian mission work while also raising a family in Barrow.