Longtime Ninilchik resident Edward Jackinsky died Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2003, at his home. He was 89.
Funeral services were held at Mr. Jackinsky's home and at the Transfiguration of our Lord Russian Orthodox Church in Ninilchik on Saturday. Archpriest Simeon Oskolkoff officiated. Mr. Jackinsky was buried in the American Legion Post No. 18 Cemetery next to his wife of 50 years, Wade. His grandchildren were the pallbearers.
Mr. Jackinsky was a descendent of the original settlers of Ninilchik. He was born in Ninilchik on Sept. 28, 1914. As was the cultural custom, he had his right ear pierced when still a babe. He grew up speaking Russian in the home and, when he began school, he learned the English language. He attended school through the eighth grade.
He was involved in fox farming with his family during the 1920s and '30s. He was an avid trapper. He trapped mink on the Ninilchik River until 1965. He hunted yearly until the mid-1970s. At the age of 16, he and his friend John Matson shot their first bear. For years he gold mined Deep Creek and the beaches of Cook Inlet. He split wood the day he died, a lifetime daily activity for home heat.
A decorated veteran, Mr. Jackinsky won Soldier's Medal on Feb. 5, 1943, for heroism in World War II for skiing several miles and rescuing two men trapped in a snow cave at a glacier near Valdez. He was in the U.S. Army as an able seaman and hoistman from 1941 to 1945. Some friends from the military became lifelong buddies, many of them settling in the area.
Mr. Jackinsky also was a commercial fisher in Alaska waters. He commercial fished with "batwing sailboats" in Bristol Bay from 1946 to 1949 and operated a commercial setnet site on Kalifonsky Beach from the mid-1940s until his death. He was fond of telling stories of his early years of fishing for Bristol Bay reds and Harriet Point kings. He spent some of his working years traveling to work as an electrician at various canneries around the state.
Mr. Jackinsky built wooden dories that he used to commercial fish on the setnet sites in the inlet. He wore out many cross-cut and chain saws cutting natural roots from spruce trees in which to fashion knees for his boats.
He was the lighthouse keeper in Ninilchik until 1958. He was responsible for keeping the fire burning in the lighthouses on the hill above the village and on the spit across from the village. The lighthouses were to guide freight ships bringing supplies to Ninilchik.
Mr. Jackinsky was a 32nd degree Mason, active in the Methodist Church with his wife, attended the Russian Orthodox Church and was a Ninilchik tribal member and a member of American Legion Post No. 18. He was on the original organizing body for the Ninilchik Native Association Inc. (NNAI) and an original shareholder in both NNAI and Cook Inlet Region Inc.
Mr. Jackinsky was preceded in death by his wife, Wade; his brother, Adolph; and his parents, Walter Jackinsky and Mary Oskolkoff.
He is survived by his sisters, Margaret, Cora, Barbara and Clara; brothers, Walter and George; his children, Timothy, Gary, Sara, Joann, Benjamin and Mary Sue; 12 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
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