Clarence Robert Pfundheller (1920 - 2016)

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Funeral services for Clarence R. Pfundheller, 96, were conducted by Pastor Kathy Kluis on Saturday, June 17, 2017, at 12:00 Noon at the First United Methodist Church in Audubon. Interment of the cremains was in the Greenfield Cemetery near Greenfield.
Clarence Robert Pfundheller, the son of Frank and Ella Martha (Neizold) Pfundheller, was born June 17, 1920 at his parents' home in Adair County near Bridgewater, and died Nov. 6, 2016, at the Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, from injuries received in an auto accident at the age of 96 years, 4 months, and 19 days.
Clarence was baptized and confirmed. He grew up on a farm two and a half miles from Bridgewater, and at an early age received the nickname of "Goph" because of the many gophers he trapped to earn spending money. Clarence attended rural schools in Adair County then graduated from the Bridgewater High School with the Class of 1937 just prior to his 17th birthday. He then worked on a large farm for a short period of time before the land owner encouraged him to enlist in the U.S. Navy. On Jan.11, 1939, he enlisted in the Navy. He returned home on leave in March of 1939 and did not return home until March of 1944. During his tour of duty he served on ships in the Asiatic-Pacific theatre and survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
On May 14, 1944, he was united in marriage to Leatha Marie Estell. They were blessed with three daughters Judy, Gloria, and Linda. Clarence finished his tour of duty on Oct. 3, 1945, and returned home and was employed by the Adair County Road Department for several years. He worked at a hardware store for several years before purchasing a grocery store in Kent. He sold the grocery store and was the district manager for Gooch Feed then later was employed as a custodian for the Omaha Public Schools until he retired in October of 1983. They returned to Greenfield, operated a rooming house. Leatha died in 1992. In March of 1993 he married Mable Jensen Pfundheller who later died in 2003.
In 1981, Clarence was requested to tell his story about his experiences at Pearl Harbor to the local school children. Since that time he has presented his experiences to thousands of students and many adult groups. One of his greatest honors came in May of 2016 when "Bubba" Sorensen, the artist of the Freedom Rock, featured Clarence on the south side of the Rock at the Greenfield exit. Clarence spent many hours talking to people who stopped to admire the "Rock".
Preceding him in death were his two wives; his granddaughter Traci Rhine; his son-in-law Richard Rhine; his parents; his brother Harold Pfundheller; and his sister Viola and husband Leland Taylor.
Survivors include his daughters Judy Rhine of Mesa, Ariz., Gloria and husband Jerry Mosser of Bellevue, Neb., and Linda and husband Doug Weston of Audubon; his step-children Gary and wife Marilyn Pfundheller of Des Moines, Sandra Weaver of Maricopa, Ariz., and Patsy Dix of Des Moines; seven grandchildren; nine step-grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; three step-great great grandchildren; his sister Delores and husband Ralph Dent of Audubon; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Funeral Home
Kessler Funeral Home
515 S Division St
Audubon, IA 50025
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Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from June 23 to June 30, 2017
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