Ex-principal leaves one final gift to
By Will Ashenmacher
When George Dell Daedo went to college in the
1930s, he had a hard time scraping his tuition together.
Now, a contribution from the former prominent
Duluth educator, who died in Idaho in February, could help keep
college-bound Denfeld alumni from dire financial straits.
Daedo — “G. Dell” to his contemporaries
— made a posthumous $40,000 contribution to the Greater Denfeld
Foundation, which will be added to the group’s scholarship
efforts. The foundation gives 12 to 14 one-year scholarships of
varying amounts to Denfeld alumni headed to four-year colleges.
Bill Westholm, who chairs the Greater Denfeld
Foundation board, said it has yet to be determined what impact Daedo’s
gift will have on the foundation’s scholarship awards.
“We’re not sure exactly how we’ll
do this with the new scholarship yet,” Westholm said. “We
still have that to figure out.”
Daedo was a longtime principal at Denfeld High
School and retired as director of secondary education for Duluth
schools in 1972.
Jean Endrizzi, who was an English and speech teacher
during Daedo’s tenure, described Daedo as a “formal,
dignified man with a heart of gold.” She said he cared deeply
about the Denfeld community.
“There are some of those folks … who
were really the heart and soul of that school. Everything they did
revolved around that school,” Endrizzi said. “He was
Denfeld to the heart.”
Westholm said Daedo was, in 1953, an original
board member of what eventually became the Greater Denfeld Foundation.
“He was always extremely interested in Denfeld,”
Westholm said. “He always stayed connected to some degree.”
Jerry Anderson, who retired from his position
as a counselor at Denfeld in 1993, was a student at Denfeld when
Daedo was principal.
“He was almost bigger than life sometimes,”
Anderson recalled. “He commanded so much respect just by his
Anderson called Daedo “a role model.”
“A lot of us thought if we could conduct
ourselves like that, that would be great,” Anderson said.
Daedo, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia,
graduated from what was then Duluth State Teachers College in 1932.
A 1972 newspaper article about his retirement said he had difficulty
ponying up the $3-per-quarter tuition and was underemployed after
He began work at Denfeld in the fall of 1932,
first as a study hall teacher and then as an ancient history instructor.
Deado went on to serve as Denfeld’s assistant principal, counselor
and principal of Washington Junior High.
Daedo eventually obtained a master’s degree
in psychology from the University of Minnesota and attended what
was then called the Wharton School of Finance at the University
Daedo was married to Verna Davidsenfrom 1935 until
her death in 1989. He married his second wife, Marjorie Jonasson,
in 1992. The two moved to Boise, Idaho, in 1996, Jonasson Daedo
Daedo died Feb. 29. He was 98 years old.