The Very Rev. Michael Lestenkof, 89, who in retirement was attached to Saints Peter and Paul here, died Friday, July 11, 2003.
Born October 13, 1913, the son of a Church reader and grandson of a priest, he received his primary education on St. George Island.
He was ordained to the Holy Diaconate in September 1959 by His Grace, Bishop Amvrossy [Merejko] of Alaska, after which he was assigned to Saint George Church, Saint George Island, AK. In March 1963, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Bishop Amvrossy and initially assigned to Archangel Michael Cathedral, Sitka, AK, where he received further theological and liturgical training, as there was no seminary in Alaska at the time. After completing his studies, he was assigned to Saints Peter and Paul Church, Saint Paul Island, where he served until his retirement in 1985.
From 1985 to 1999, Father Lestenkof was attached to Saint Spiridon Cathedral, Seattle, WA, where he assisted the assigned clergy with pastoral ministry as needed. Having returned to Saint Paul Island in 1999, he was attached to Saints Peter and Paul Church until the time of his death.
Father Lestenkof received numerous clergy awards in recognition of his outstanding and lengthy ministry. In 1984, His Grace, Bishop Gregory [Afonsky] of Alaska presented him with the Saint Herman Cross for his many years of zealous service to the Diocese of Alaska, while in 2002, he was awarded the right to wear the jeweled cross.
Father Lestenkof was preceded in death by his wife. He is survived by several children and grandchildren.
His Grace, Bishop Nikolai of Sitka, Anchorage and Alaska presided at funeral services at Saints Peter and Paul Church, Saint Paul Island, and interment on Sunday evening, July 13.
May Father Lestenkof’s memory be eternal!