Cover photo for John A. Moldstad's Obituary
John A. Moldstad Profile Photo
1926 John 2022

John A. Moldstad

June 5, 1926 — December 6, 2022

Baxter, MN

John Allyn Moldstad was born June 5, 1926 to Rev. John A. Moldstad and his wife, Ethelyn (Holverson) in Chicago, IL. He was joined in faith to Christ through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Chicago. He attended Bethel Lutheran School, Luther Institute, and graduated from Bethany Lutheran High School in 1943. At age 17 John intended to enlist in the war effort, but his father refused to sign the permission slip, and urged him to study for the pastoral ministry. He attended Bethany Lutheran College graduating in 1945, and then enrolled at Northwestern Lutheran College, Watertown, WI, graduating in 1947. He was in the first cohort of students to attend Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, graduating in 1950. After teaching for a year at Bethany College, he was ordained into the public Ministry on September 16, 1951. 

 

John was married to Gudrun E. Madson in August of that same year. The first two months of their marriage they managed Kasota Home for the Aged before moving to northern MN. Their marriage was blessed with four children, John, James (who died at one day old), Donald and Lois.

 

As a parish pastor John served fifteen Lutheran congregations of the ELS in five different states: Concordia, Clearbrook, MN (1951–1956); Immanuel, Lengby, MN (1951–1956); Our Savior’s, Bagley, MN (1951–1956); Clearwater, Gonvick, MN (1951–1952); Gran, Bagley, MN (1952–1953); Cross Lake, Fosston, MN (1953–1956); Mt. Olive, Trail, MN (1953–1956); St. Paul, Lengby, MN (1953–1956); Richland, Thornton, IA (1957–1965); and a mission church start-up in Mason City, IA, named Central Heights (1957–1965). In 1965 he was called to Bethany Lutheran College where he primarily served as a Religion professor, Dean of Students and a few years as Director of Advancement until 1978. John then returned to the parish ministry taking a call to Grace, Crookston, MN, and River Heights, E. Grand Forks, MN until 1984. He was called to serve at Grace, Vero Beach, FL (1985–1991); Western Koshkonong, Cottage Grove, WI (1991–1996); and finally Immanuel Lutheran Church, Audubon, MN (1996–1999). In retirement he served extended vacancies in Scottsdale, AZ and Lengby, MN.

 

Pastor Moldstad was heavily involved in the work of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. In the early 1950’s he started a summer camp, now called Camp Indianhead in Minnesota. He served on numerous synodical boards and committees, most notably the Board of Regents from 1980-2009, and one term as Synod Vice President from 1986-1989. In parish work 9 building projects took place under his pastoral care, along with start-ups of a mission church and a Lutheran elementary school.

 

John was preceded in death by his infant son James, two brothers, Rev. Robert Moldstad and Paul Moldstad; his wife, Gudrun in 1987; and his son, Rev. John Moldstad, Jr. in 2021.

 

In 1988 he was blessed to be married to June E. (Howard) Bestervelt in Naples, FL. The Lord has blessed their retirement years in Northern Minnesota with much joy. John frequently commented on what a God-sent June had been for him. He reserved his church membership in the ELS at Holy Cross of Madison, WI, and also attended Christ Lutheran Church (WELS) of Baxter, MN. John and June are grateful for the spiritual care they have received from each of these congregations in recent years through use of Word and Sacrament with pastoral visits.   

 

On the ELS clergy roster, John was the last son of the original founders of the Synod. John is survived by his son, Donald (and Gina) Moldstad; daughters, Lois (and Paul) Fick; Jo (and Rev. Thomas) Petersen; and Terri Bestervelt; daughter-in-law Joslyn Moldstad . He is also survived by eighteen grandchildren and thirty great-grandchildren.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of John are preferred to:

Bethany Lutheran College-700 Luther Drive, Mankato MN 56601

or

Holy Cross Lutheran Church - 734 Holy Cross Way, Madison WI 53704

 

Funeral will be held at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, 1123 Marsh St., Mankato, MN at 11AM on Monday, Dec. 12th. Visitation will be held that morning starting at 9:30AM.  Burial will take place at Norseland Lutheran Church cemetery, rural St. Peter. The Funeral service will be livestreamed at https://mtolivelutheran.org 

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, December 12, 2022

9:30 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Mt Olive Lutheran Church and School

1123 Marsh St, Mankato, MN 56001

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Funeral Service

Monday, December 12, 2022

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Mt Olive Lutheran Church and School

1123 Marsh St, Mankato, MN 56001

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

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