John Coe at KNOM’s Anchorage office. Photo by KJ McElwee (2022).

John Coe is a Marylander by birth and an Alaskan by choice. At age fourteen, he left his childhood home on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay to study for the Catholic priesthood. In his ten years of seminary studies, he lived in New England and Mexico and obtained degrees in liberal arts and philosophy. After he discerned out of religious life, he lived in San Diego for three years before returning to his home state and obtaining a master’s degree in psychology.

Along the way, he started thinking that he might like to live in Alaska. After grappling with the thought for a few years, he finally quit his job in Washington, DC in the summer of 2017, drove the Alaska Highway and has never looked back. When asked why he likes living in Alaska, he will probably answer with, “Alaska is everything I loved about living in New Hampshire, just bigger,” and then expound for at least half an hour.

John was drawn to KNOM because of its uniquely Catholic and uniquely Alaskan character. His day-to-day tasks include processing gifts from donors, recording weather reports and producing inspirational and educational spots for KNOM listeners.

While not at work, he can be seen watching sci-fi shows, playing Zelda video games, hiking up mountains, kayaking on lakes, dancing with friends, performing in local theater, reading thick books on obscure topics or adding to the collection of model airplanes dangling from his apartment ceiling.