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Duka Mandic

Georgina-Đuka Tesla (born Đuka Mandic, 1822 - April 4, 1882) was born in Tomingaj (translated as "Tomo's wood enclosure" - named after her great-grandfather). She invented devices and tools, and was talented at handiwork and crafts.

She was the daughter of the Serbian Orthodox priest Nikola Mandić (1800 - 1863) from Graca. Her mother was blinded when she was 16 years old. She took care of her seven younger siblings until her marriage. She married the Serb Orthodox Reverend Milutin Tesla in 1847. She was illiterate, though she was far more talented than expected. She was Nikola Tesla's mother, and was the oldest of eight children.

Djuka had five children with Milutin Tesla. Their names were:

Dane (1848 - 1963)
Angelina (married name: Trbojevic; married a Serbian Orthodox priest)
Milka (married name: Glumicic; married a Serbian Orthodox priest)
Nikola (1856 - 1943) [the fourth child]
Marica (married name: Kosanovic; married a Serbian Orthodox priest)

She was gifted with a sense of intuition and bestowed inventiveness on her children. Nikola was born "at the stroke of midnight" during a summer storm and lightning. The midwife commented, "He'll be a child of the storm," to which Đuka replied, "No, of light."

Djuka moved to Gospic in 1862 with her family.

In 1879, when Milutin died, Đuka lived in Gospić, with her brother, Priest Petar. Đuka died on Easter Saturday at one o'clock in the morning. She was buried beside her husband, in the Jašikovac cemetery in Divoselo. Nikola raised individual tombstones of white marble (of similar height and likeness) to each of his parents. On Đuka's stone was written:

Đuka Tesla
Wife of Priest Tesla

Đuka Tesla's birth house in Tominga was under the protection of the state from 1945 to 1991, but later fell into disrepair and ruin.

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