Chateauroux American High School - Cliff Gunderson - Principal 1954-56

Cliff Gunderson
Faculty 54-56

Updated 08/12/11

Chateauroux, France


GUNDERSON, Cliff & wife, Pat  - Faculty & Principal 
@ Chas: 1954, 55-56
Mission Viejo, CA
Graduation Year:  1940 @ Dix Rural High School, Dix, NE

  Cliff Gunderson - 1955-56





01/27/03  Thanks to those who helped me survive those two years at Chad- my first experience in secondary school. I remember being overwhelmed with the responsibilities of administration for a wonderful faculty and student body.  After 34 years teaching I retired in l984. It is always a pleasure to learn about my earliest students and faculty.   I have mixed emotions about my experiences with trying to raise a family while performing the duties of teacher and then as principal. Now at 80 years of age (2003), I realize that this was a wondrous time. Jenelle, thanks for this great work you have created for helping us to find each other. I have been drawn closer to others and feel the power of faith, hope, and love. May God be with you.  It is a pleasure to have been a part of CHAD and included in the Chateauroux web site.  I was one of the first principals of the Chateauroux American High School at La Martinerie with  Mr. Ross as Superintendent and Mr. Umholtz as the elementary school principal.  I have made connection with Dr. James Umholtz [and Mr. Larry Martin 4-30-05].

[jpnote:  I think Pat & Cliff keep sending me the same photo!  This one is supposed to be 2007, but they haven't changed a bit since 2004 (shown above at Tahoe).

Cliff & Pat are searching for: Ms. Billy Engler, Chad English Teacher in '55-56, Mr. Lawrence Martin [reconnected with Larry Martin],  Former Faculty and Students of Chateauroux American High School.  [Reconnected with Alan Rochford, his son's namesake.]

I enjoy the good life at eighty (more now - 2009) and live in an active retirement community in sunny California. I had a wonderful time with the 1950's students at the Las Vegas 2001 Reunion. I plan to attend the Tahoe 2003 Reunion and celebrate again with Chateauroux High School Family. Ya'll come! [They did attend and were the life of the party!]

7-5-03  I feel greatly uplifted with the TAHOE REUNION 2003. Jenelle organized and hosted this grand time together. Pat & I enjoyed sharing experiences and going on the outings with y'all.  We'll continue to relive this through the pictures and correspondence.  I am searching for:  HOPE, FAITH, & LOVE and then PEACE!

My wife and I have celebrated our 56th Anniversary and wonder where the years of our adventures have gone. We continue to enjoy our lives together and to meet up with friends.  We met my ole Army Air Corps buddy last month after 60 years.  Our prayers for our service personnel and their families are giving us strength in this time of war.  I am searching for:  peace and faith and love.  We love you, Jenelle, and those you've brought to us. Cliff and Pat

4-30-05   Thank you for connecting Mr. Larry Martin (also at CHAD '55-'56) and me.   I am still searching for Ms Wilhemina Engler (Billie), a teacher at Chad with Mr. Martin (reconnected with Cliff) and me during the '55 & '56 school years.

This is where Cliff and Pat live.  They seem to have it all - great family, many friends plus these grand and beautiful mountains, lakes and great sky!h

  Photo:  Lake Mission Viego, California

Events in the Life of : Clifford Dale Gunderson  - I was brought into this world in the Little White School House at Dix, NE, where my parents, Aeye (A.I.) and Grace Mae (Graham) Gunderson, lived.  Dr. A. L. Miller drove from Kimball to deliver me on July 22, 1922.

I completed grades one through eight in the brown brick Grade School in Dix, Nebraska; and graduated at Dix Rural High School in June 1940.

I farmed for a year and then enrolled in Hastings College, at Hastings, NE.  When war was declared on Japan, I took the Civilian Pilot Training  at the Beebe Airport and completed the Spring  Semester before enlisting in the Army Air Corps (Reserve) at Fort Warren, at Cheyenne, Wyoming,
20 June 1942.

During the summer of 1942, I was a carpenter at the Sioux Ordinance Depot, Sidney, NE, to build dormitories and other buildings.  In September, I returned to Hastings College.

I was inducted on the 20th of February 1943.  (see Service Record)

                              SERVICE RECORD FOR CLIFFORD D. GUNDERSON    1942-45

20 June 1942:   Enlisted in the Army Air Corp (Reserve)
                         at Fort Warren, Cheyenne, WY.
21 Feb. 1943:    Inducted and sent to Jefferson Barracks, nr. St. Louis, MO.
                         for Basic Training w/ 32nd Training Group.
27 Mar. 1943     Assigned to the 95th College Training Detachment
                          at Beloit, WI.
20 May  1943     Dislocated right leg at the knee during physical training.
21 May  1943     Dispatched to Camp Grant Station Hospital at Rockford, IL.
09 Sept 1943     Taken to Schick General Hospital at Clinton, Iowa.
15 Jan. 1944      Returned to 95th College Training Detachment, Beloit, WI.
01 Feb. 1944     Reassigned to 11th TSS, Scott Field, IL.
16 Feb. 1944     Assigned to 647th TSS, Truax Field, WI.
12 Mar. 1944     Reassigned to 12th TSS, Scott Field, IL. (AACS) Radio Code.
                         17 day Delay in Route to
16 June 1944     Section R., Overseas Replacement Depot, Greensboro, NC.

20 July 1944      Prepared for shipping out at Camp Miles Standish.
24-9 July 1944   Sailed from Boston Harbor to Greenock, Scotland.
01 Aug 1944      Assigned to the 8th Air Force at the Replacement Depot,
                        AAF 594, Stone, Staffordshire, England.
14 Aug 1944      Reassigned to the 325th Ferrying Squadron, AAF 510.
16 Aug 1944      Sent to Detachment "F",  AAF 505 nr. Watton, East Anglia.
                        Returned to AAF 510 and
18 Sep 1944      Moved to Northolt AAF 387 nr. South Ruislip, Middlesex.
17 Nov 1944      Moved to Grove, AAF 519, Berkshire, nr. Wantage.
15 Feb. 1945     Promoted to PFC.
08 May 1945     VE DAY
15 June 1945     Volunteered for the Pacific w/ 313th Transport Squadron.
Aug. 1945         VJ DAY
23 Sep 1945      Assigned to Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron of the
                        302nd Transport Wing, AAF 386, Paris, France.
04 Oct. 1945      Assigned to Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron of the
                         51st Troop Carrier Wing, European Air Transport Service
                         at Y-80, Erbenheim, nr. Wiesbaden, Germany.
30 Oct. 1945      Reassigned to Headquarters and Base Service Squadron of
                         the 436th Air Service Group, Y-80, Wiesbaden/Erbenheim.
11 Nov. 1945      Return to Paris/Villa Coublay after a 2 day "Forty & Eight"
                         box car ride to await deployment to US w/ the 22nd Photo
                         Reconn. Squadron.
Dec. 1945          Debarked from Le Harve on the "Lt. Colby" into rough seas.
22 Dec 1945       Received an Honorable Discharge at Ft. Leavenworth,  KS.

25 Dec 1945     Had Christmas Dinner at Uncle Rex and Aunt Effie Graham's
                        at Dix, Nebraska. 

I was a Veteran of World War II who took advantage of the "GI Bill" by attending Colorado State Teachers College at Greeley, Colorado, from 1946 till 1950.   But I added a needed companion on the 17th of July 1948  by marrying my English sweetheart I met in 1945 at Covent Garden.

I married Emmeline Patricia Brown in the Parish Church of Saint Mary, Battersea, England on 17 July, 1948.   (see  St. Mary's)

We returned to Greeley where Pat worked as the secretary to the Colorado State Highway Patrol and I continued my studies and student teaching at CSCE.   I received a BA  in Mathematics (49) and a MA degree in Educational Administration(50) from the College of Education.  (Now named the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley.)

Pat and I ventured to Oregon where I taught the full curriculum to  7th and 8th graders at the Halsey Elementary School ,  1950-53.   I worked summers "bucking  bags of Rye Grass" onto trucks in the fields and ³bagging²  in the warehouses at Halsey .

Our daughter, Diane Elise, was born in Albany, Oregon,  13  August 1951 and we were a happy family.




I accepted a principalship at the Crawfordsville Elementary School for 1953-54 and in the Spring I applied for a principalship with Dependents Schools with the Department of the Air Force under NATO.   I was accepted and since we were expecting a baby,  Pat and Diane flew to London to be with Pat's parents. 


 Alan Ray was born October 9th in England.  I named my newborn son, Alan Ray,  thanks to Alan Rochford and Ray Calloway [Cliff's students at CHAD].  

Cliff & Son, Alan Ray - Father's Day 2008





I was assigned to Chateauroux American High School, La Martinerie, Chateauroux,  France, as a teaching principal for 1954-55 and then principal for 1955-56.


[jpnote:  I think Cliff looks like one of his students!]







bob1.BMP (6438 bytes)  I requested a teaching position in England for 1956 and was assigned to Central High School, Bushy Park where I taught math classes until 1960.

We had taken a summer return to Oregon in 1959.    Five years had made changes in the familiar places.  I decided that  returning to the States would be a more settling life for us.  Fortunately  Pat agreed and we drove on through Oregon to California where I stopped at a couple of school
district offices for applications but when we got to Long Beach I was asked to fill out the application.

I served 24 years in the Long Beach Unified School District which included some summer school classes and a few classes in the City College night school.    And  thanks to Pat for having  worked  with the Bank of America, we were able to send Diane and, then  Alan, to the University of California at Santa Barbara.

I felt honored to be selected to serve in the State Demonstration Program of Individualized  Mathematics Instruction using  computers to mark wrong answers on cards.   Several districts in California adapted and improved on this method of instruction.   Our schools in the Program showed marked improvement in the State Achievement Tests but students moving to high school found difficulty adjusting to the lecture method in mathematics classes. 

I retired in 1984 after reaching the retirement age option of 62.  Having taught an average of 35 students in each of 5 classes per day,  recording, grading,  dealing with juveniles and their problems was weighing  more heavily  on me and several other teachers.
[jpnote:  My math says that's about 5,450 students whose lives you touched Cliff!]   I had completed 34 years in Education and felt that I could manage to live on the contributions that I made to the California State Teachers Retirement  System.    And Pat was with Bank of America until 1990.

I can't believe how busy I've been since retiring.  And now I have a computer and a digital camera! 
I have new friends and enjoy life....Clifford Dale Gunderson

Cliff's Birthday (80 Years) - 7-22-02 & Pat's Birthday (75 Years)
Celebration with Family - July 2002

Paul, Brad's mother Betty, daughter Diane, son Alan w/daughters
Kathleen and Chelsea, Brad stoops in front of Cliff,
and Pat w/Alan's friend, Laurie.

"Our daughter, Diane's,  dog, Ted E. Bear.  He is a Tibetan Terrier and we had the pleasure of caring for him for the first week in April [2003].   I've just finished making Ted E. Bear's Pedigree Chart and some of the names are unique to say the least.  His registered name is Sakura Roji from Dam champion, Sakura Roji Theta Lady and Sire champion, Auras Lucky Star.  I should have lost pounds of weight. As a six month old puppy, he kept Pat and me busy for that week."

1-2-05  ~~HAPPY NEW YEAR~~
Pat and I extend our best wishes to you. Also we want you to know that we are proud great-grandparents
  Serenity Rose was born December 28th of 2004.



Ashlynn & Great-Grandpop, Cliff


Below:  Proud Parents & Great-Grandmother Pat

Memoriam to Betty

jp note:  Cliff and Pat are sad to tell that the mother of Brad, their daughter Diane's husband, has passed away.  Betty Mitsuko Yamauchi   was their good friend and will be missed in the family's life.  Our condolences and sympathy to you, Brad and Diane  and your family.              

Yamauchi, Betty Mitsuko - December 28, 1927 - February 24, 2009

  Betty passed away on February 24, 2009. She was recovering from recent surgery but complications from chemotherapy treatment led to her unexpected death. Her family and friends will miss her positive outlook on life. She made every event fun and brought joy and laughter to our lives. The memories of good times with Betty help ease our grief.

  She was born on December 28, 1927, in Kealakekua (Kona), Hawaii, one of six children of Mataichi and Umeko Fukuda Nakamura. Her older brother Allen Nakamura passed away in 2007. Her sisters Pauline and Patsy live in Honolulu and her brother Eichi lives in Castro Valley, California, with his spouse Marion.

  Because her father was a prominent Kona business and community leader who was educated in Japan, her family was one of few relocated from Hawaii to the World War II Japanese-American Relocation Camps. While her father was imprisoned in Honolulu, Betty, her mother and siblings were interned at Topaz, Utah.

 After the war, in 1950 she married Seiji Yamauchi in Chicago. Seiji volunteered and was a member of the 442nd all Japanese-American Fighting Regiment serving in Europe during World War II. He helped found the Orange County VFW Kazuo Masuda Memorial Post 3672. Seiji passed away in 1985. They had two children who survive: Brad Yamauchi and spouse Diane Gunderson of San Francisco; and Kathy Yamauchi-Austin, spouse Steven Austin and two grandchildren, Steven, Jr., and Julie of Tustin.

 Betty's family and friends are happy that she met Paul Takahashi, a veteran and a Commander of VFW Post 3672. They loved and enjoyed life together since 1987. Betty had a popular beauty salon in Orange County that served many Issei and Nisei friends for over 50 years. She enjoyed dancing, golfing, bowling, karaoke, parties and travel with friends, her dogs, casinos and life.

 Please join her family and friends in a Celebration of Betty's life at the Wintersburg Presbyterian Church, 2000 N. Fairview Street, Santa Ana, California, on Friday, March 27, 2009, at 12:30 pm with lunch following.

 Aloha/Hawaiian attire will help us celebrate Betty's Kona roots and her "Aloha Spirit."