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Monday, January 31, 2011

Dorothy Dralle

Dorothy Dralle was one of the most thoughtful people I have ever met. She possessed so many wonderful qualities, it is hard to know where to begin in describing her personality. She simply made everyone’s day better. It was sad to hear of the passing of Dorothy Dralle on Sunday.

 When I started as a coach and teacher at Galesburg High School, Dorothy was the secretary for George Lundeen, the Athletic Director. She was stuffed into a tiny little room not much bigger than a closet, along with 2-3 file cabinets. I quickly learned that she was more than the athletic secretary. She was really a combination of administrator and counselor.

She had the ability to field a call from irate parent, and with her kindness have the parent calmed down significantly before anyone else talked to them. If you needed to know how to get to Baker Park in Kewanee for a cross country, Dorothy would find out and write the directions out for you. If you needed to order basketballs, she had them for you in one or two days.

For me, Dorothy was like having my own mother in the building. When I needed a pat on the back or a hug, she was there. When Dorothy handed out praise to me, I knew I was never quite as good of a coach as Dorothy tried to make me believe. But for young coaches who often had plenty of people to point out your errors, it sure was nice to have someone who was always in your corner. She was always there when you needed a boost.

One year we lost in the Regional, when we should have won. The next morning when I went to my school mailbox, there was a long note from Dorothy. She complimented me on how the season had gone. But as only Dorothy could do, she “gently” let me know how wonderful the girls had been that year and while I was sad, I needed to remember how much the girls needed me to be praising them. It was great advice, and helped shake me out of my self-pity.

When our son Allen was born, she was so wonderful to him. It was expected each year that we would come over for Halloween. She had the same impact on my son, that she had on me—she made him feel special.

Dorothy Dralle made a large school seem small and personal. She made each of my days better with her smile, her kind words, and her love. But my story is not unique, she had the same love, concern, and caring for literally hundreds of people. Dorothy is one of those people who made the world a better place. She was a model of thoughtfulness. I know for sure that she gave one young teacher support and encouragement to keep going when it wasn’t always easy!

Thank you, Dorothy!!

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