Denfeld News

April16, 2008
Duluth News Tribune

Ex-principal leaves one final gift to Denfeld students
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 presence.”

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 graduating.

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 of Pennsylvania.

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 said.

Daedo died Feb. 29. He was 98 years old.

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