'Jack of all trades' of Manor provided for large family
The eighth of nine kids, Mitch Yackovich grew up working and worshipping God, and that's how he lived his life, his family said.
“He was just a kind-hearted man who led a simple life and loved his wife,” his daughter, Helen Kalp, said.
Growing up, the siblings spent most of their time helping their parents around the house, his sister Angeline Babich said.
Miller “Mitch” Yackovich, 80, of Manor died Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in Excela Health Westmoreland hospital, Greensburg. He was born Dec. 31, 1936, the son of the late Samuel and Helen Yackovich in Rillton.
In his youth, Mr. Yackovich worked as a caddy at the Lincoln Hills Country Club and played football in high school, his sister said.
After graduation, he spent two years in the Army, serving with a heavy weapons infantry unit in Germany.
After his honorable discharge, he returned to the area, met his wife and raised a family, his daughter said.
Mr. Yackovich mainly worked for Babich and Stotler in Yukon and then Westmoreland Steel in Madison. An electrician, he took whatever work he could find, his daughter said.
“He was a jack of all trades,” she said.
With five children, “he sometimes worked three jobs to take care of us.”
Raised in a strong Serbian Orthodox family, Mr. Yackovich instilled that faith in his children.
“He made sure that we all celebrated Orthodox Christmas and all of the Orthodox holidays with his mother, Helen, and his father, Samuel,” his daughter said. “His faith was everything.”
One of his main forms of entertainment was scratch-off lottery tickets and playing slots at a casino, she said.
His other pursuits included remodeling his house and maintaining a large garden that included lettuce, onions, corn, cabbage, peppers and tomatoes, his daughter said.
Mr. Yackovich was a plain-spoken person without pretense, his son-in-law George Kalp said.
“He was just an honest individual,” he said.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ann P. Yackovich.
He is survived by five children: Helen Kalp of Greensburg, Chris Ann Conti of Somerset, Michelle Ratkus of Goodyear, Ariz.,. John Yackovich of Jeannette and Miller Yackovich Jr. of Frederick, Md. He is also survived by 14 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Leo M. Bacha Funeral Home, 516 Stanton St., Greensburg. Prayers will begin at 9:15 a.m. Monday in the funeral home, to be followed at 10 a.m. by the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Ascension of Our Lord Serbian Orthodox Church, Youngwood.
Military honors by the VFW Post No. 33 honor guard and interment will follow in Irwin Union Cemetery. A Pomen service will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday in the funeral home.
Brian Bowling is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1218.