James “Jim” Jurkovich, 92, longtime resident of Hibbing passed away Saturday, April 29, 2023 at home surrounded by his family. Jim was born July 2, 1930 in Buhl, MN, the son of Marko and Matrice (Pocrnich) Jurkovich. He was a graduate of Martin Hughes High School where he played basketball and football for the Buhl Bulldogs. Jim would graduate from Virginia Junior College and attended the U of M. On November 4, 1950, Jim married Helen Mae Kangas of Buhl, at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Dinkytown. Following marriage, Jim worked 12 years for Snyder Mining Company. During that time, Jim and Helen raised 3 children in Buhl. Jim served two terms on the Buhl City Council. The mine closed and Jim went to UMD and achieved a bachelor’s degree in Math, with a Minor in music. His next job was teaching Math at Lincoln Junior High School in Hibbing where he continued his career for 30 years, along with working as an assistant coach in football and basketball.
With his love for music, Jim sang with St. Leo’s and Blessed Sacrament Church Choirs. He also sang with the Voices of Reason in Hibbing, and the Range of Voices in Virginia, MN. In addition, he worked at many funerals and weddings throughout his lifetime. He was active in his church faith community and the Knights of Columbus.
During his retirement, Jim enjoyed gardening, and playing in the senior leagues of curling, bowling, and golf. He especially enjoyed fishing with his Dr. Philips gang off Ely Island on Lake Vermillion.
Jim is survived by his wife of 72 years, Helen Jurkovich, Hibbing, MN, children, Daniel (Gayle) Jurkovich, Elk River, MN, and Constance Jurkovich, Maple Grove, MN, his 3 siblings, Mark Jurkovich, Nashville, TN, Martha Arko, St. Paul, MN, and Theresa (Mike) Leary, Burnsville, MN, two grandchildren, Gary (Dawn) Jurkovich, Fountain Hills, AZ, and Jay (Erin) Jurkovich, Hugo, MN, 4 great-grandchildren, Olivia, Sophia, Cleo, and Mason, numerous nieces, nephews, and many, many, close cousins. He was preceded in death by his son, Rick Jurkovich, parents, Marko and Matrice (Pocrnich) Jurkovich, and his brother, Greg Jurkovich.
Funeral services for Jim will be 11:30 am, Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Hibbing. The Rev. Fr. Bill Skarich will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial. Visitation will be from 9:30 am until the 11:30 am funeral Mass at the church on Tuesday. Interment will be in Maple Hill Cemetery of Hibbing. Arrangements are with the Dougherty Funeral Home of Hibbing.