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Pathways Through Our Past

The Jackovich family

Many of you must have seen this athletic lady as she strides her way to better health on the streets of Blackduck during her break from work at the Blackduck Telephone.

I am speaking of Melinda (Jackovich) Hall, born and raised in Nebish.

Melinda's grandparents, Vance and Nina Jackovich, came to this area from Yugoslavia by way of Iowa. There were five boys and one girl in their family. Vance, Melinda's father was the youngest boy.

Vance and two of his brothers worked in Alaska. He also served in the Army, stationed in North Africa and Italy. After his discharge from the service, he married Georgianna Marchand in 1954. To this marriage there was born three lovely daughters, Jane, Theresa and Melinda. Within a few months time, the girl's mother passed away and Vance found himself without a helpmate and the little girls without a mother.

To their good fortune, neighbors Ruth and Wally Stiglich opened their home to the girls and this allowed Vance the freedom to continue farming to make a living for his family.

In 1961, Vance traveled to Mrkopalj, Yugoslavia and returned with a wife, Marie, and mother for the girls. On their return to Nebish, the couple moved their daughters home again and in a short time were learning many words in the Croatian language. They also learned how to cook wonderful native foods and to do fancy work. Most of all they learned to love this beautiful woman who became the only mother they knew.

All three girls attended school in Nebish and when that school closed, they transferred to Blackduck from where they all graduated. Upon completing high school, Melinda went North to Alaska.

Melinda finally returned to her family home where she and her husband, Bill, who works for Randy's live. She receives visits her from children, Devon and Hanna who are making their own memories and traditions as the third generation on the Jackovich land.