Bianca Jacklich — an immigrant who came to America to build a better life and shared her good fortune by helping the communities she lived in — is being inducted into the Manteca Hall of Fame.
The induction dinner and ceremonies take place Saturday, May 9, at the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane. Tickets are $60 apiece and are available through the Manteca Boys & Girls Club, 545 W. Alameda St., or by calling 239.5437.
Jacklich, who passed away in 2012 at age 103, is being inducted in the field of community service.
Other inductees are Aaron “Bubba Black” Goodwin, the arts; Earl Pimentel, special recognition; Dr. Craig Bobson, health care; Ruth Anne Boggs, education; Donna Shannon, at large; Albert Eugene Pagnucci, government; Lindsay Munoz, education; John “Jack” Thomson, athletics; Robert “Budge” and Arlene Brown, business; and Darryl Quaresma, community service.
Jacklich was born in Lucca, Italy in 1909. For years later she arrived in America on the steamship S.S. Taormina that docked May 20, 1913 at Ellis Island. From there her family traveled westward by train to Oakland.
As a child she learned to speak and read English and eventually became the valedictorian of her high school class. She graduated from Heald Business College and worked at three Oakland firms — Metal Recycling Company, Oakland Title Insurance, and Cochran and Celli Chevrolet — prior to marrying Frank Jacklich in 1928.
They lived in Oakland where she was a devoted mother of four and served as a community volunteer.
The couple bought farmland in Manteca in 1936. After they moved to Manteca in 1943, she continued her community involvement.
Jacklich joined the local Women’s Auxiliary, visited wounded soldiers at local hospitals and sent gifts and letters to troops overseas. After the war she boxed up good clothes and sent them to people who needed them in Italy.
She and her family were recognized by the federal government for supporting the war effort and were awarded a 1943 Certificate of Farm Service by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Jacklich became a member of the Veritas Grammar School Mothers’ Club and served a stint as the group’s president. She also was elected and served 15 years as a trustee for Veritas Grammar School.
Jacklich spent 63 years as a member of the Soropritmist International of Manteca. She had perfect attendance until she passed away in 103. She was a charter member and past president.
In 1971, Jacklich and her husband were critically injured in a head-in crash with a drunken driver. She wanted some good to come of it and became a member and president of the Manteca Safety Council.
She was also a member of the Escalon Republican Women’s Federated, the Italian Catholic Federation, the Young Ladies Institute and the Redwood Heights PTA in Oakland that she also served as president.
Jacklich was an active member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church and served as a catechism teacher and a Mass lector.
She was one of the parents that played a key role in building the Redwood Heights Grammar School in Oakland. She became involved with the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in 1938 while in Oakland and remained active with the efforts when she moved in Manteca and the organization became known as the March of Dimes.
She served as a member of the Selective Service’s local board, and earned numerous recognitions for her community service from various groups.