Gaile (Salo) Drazenovich, 83, a longtime Hibbing resident, died peacefully Saturday, Oct. 16 at
Heritage Manor in Chisholm with her family at her side.
Gaile is deeply loved and missed by her husband, children and grandchildren, who know her
goodness is irreplaceable. She was kind beyond measure, always generous, gracious, patient
and willing to share her lovely smile with those around her. Gaile also was quietly strong. True
to her Finnish heritage, she had plenty of sisu, the term the Finns use to describe bravery and
Gaile was born March 5, 1938, in Duluth, Minnesota, and spent many happy summers at the
family’s cabin on Island Lake. She graduated from Duluth Central High School in 1956 and
attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth to earn her elementary education degree. She
met John, her husband of 60 years, when both were students at UMD. After graduating from
UMD in 1961, Gaile and John moved to Hibbing. Gaile then began her 30-year teaching career
at Greenhaven Elementary School, later teaching Title 1 and special education at Jefferson and
Washington schools. Gaile was involved in a variety of organizations and was especially
dedicated to the AAUW Hibbing chapter.
She survived a hemorrhagic stroke in 1994, and her family is eternally grateful for the additional
27 years they were able to spend with her. Gaile is survived by her husband John, formerly of
Hibbing and now living at Heritage Manor in Chisholm; daughter Dana (Dave DeLand) of St.
Cloud; son Jay (Jennifer Meland) and grandchildren Drew, Ryan, Karlin and Lillian, all of
Scottsdale, Arizona; brother Kent (Kay) Salo of Duluth; and many nieces and nephews. She was
preceded in death by her parents Jack and Grace Salo, brothers Ronald and Donald Salo, and
sister Shirley Koyiol. Her sister Vada Johnson died Oct. 23.
Gaile’s family extends a heartfelt thank you to Heritage Manor staff members for the five
years of incredible and compassionate care they provided her.
Her family is planning a memorial service for the near future.