VERNON L. GUDEMAN (1906-1989)
(Head Mechanic)
(CNAC 194? - 194?)

In the 1943-45 log book of Don McBride, Charles listed his home address as:

Vernon L. Gudeman
Box 132 (The popluation remains about the same today (2000) of 989.)
Wolcott, Indiana

November 27, 2002
Received the following e-mail today.

The following is from Vernon Gudeman's niece, Mary Ellen:

"You know, I think, that he was a pilot for PanAm. The story my folks used to tell about him is that when he was a teenager, he took off by himself to Florida. There he started working in the hanger of PanAm. This developed into being a pilot later on.

"I still remember the tales he would share with us when he occasionally returned to little Wolcott (a small farming community in north central Indiana). He told us how they used Brazil nuts for fuel down in Brazil. I sat there listening to him, wide-eyed. It was my favorite nut in the bottom of my stocking each year. I couldn't imagine the extravagance of using these for fuel.

"Then I remember he told us one evening about Lindbergh flying in his plane as a passenger. I also remember that he didn't think too highly of Lindbergh...something about him being over-celebrated as a hero. I also remember him telling about earthquakes in South America and in China also, and his responsibility was to fly to those destinations and give aid.

"I've always been proud to be a niece of this "mysterious" uncle. He used to make me feel so special. I knew I was an ordinary country gal, but I felt like more when he talked with me."

The following is from Vernon's great-niece, Trena:

"Vernon was married to Josephine of Indiana. They lived for many years in Miami, FL. They had no children. Mrs. Gudeman is now 90-ish and in a retirement home. Mrs. Gudeman and my grandmother are/were sisters, and I understand Vernon and Josephine were especially close to my father. I also understand that she was responsible for my middle name, "Jo", and perhaps also for my "different" first name (supposedly saw it in a Miami newspaper).

"I remember seeing Vernon probably 5 times in my life, all likely before 1960. It was always special when he and Jo would make the trip every year or so from Miami to Indiana. We would visit with them by having dinner at grandma and grandpa's house (Jo's sister). Through a youngster's eyes, they were such a handsome couple, very charming, fun-loving, and just delightful. It was almost like they had found another world outside the farm boundaries of Indiana. I remember Vernon with a rather ruddy complexion. I don't know if it was his natural coloring, or if it was because of working outside in the Florida sun. But I remember even more the crinkly laugh lines around his eyes. I knew he had something to do with Pan Am, and he and my father liked to talk about "airplanes" of any kind, but I had no idea of the extent of his work until I saw this web site." What a neat guy he must have been. I wish I would have been a little older and had the sense to ask him to sit down and start telling me stories."

Best regards,
Trena Garrison

Trena provided the following two photos.

Wedding Day for Vernon and Josephine
September 9, 1944
Wolcott, Indiana

Vernon and Josephine Gudeman;
Josephine's sister, Mabel Abersoll;
and Milton Gudeman, Vernon's cousin and brother to Mary Ellen Gudeman.

The following is from another great-niece, Rhonda Bertram.
December 3, 2002

Hi: I am writing in response to your website for Vernon L. Gudeman. I am Rhonda, a sister to Trena, who has already contributed to your website. I recall many of the same memories that Trena has contributed. I remember my father talking about how Vernon flew w/ the Flying Tigers over India. I don't have any more information than that. He and his wife never had children, though she suffered several miscarriages. He was extremely devoted to her and they are one of the few couples that come to mind that were truly friends. There was another sister, Ada, that lived in West Lafayette, Indiana, that I was extremely close to. When Vernon and Josephine would be in town, I would also be invited to dinner with them. Ada never married and when Vernon was in town, he would check her car and house from top to bottom to make sure it was all running smoothly. That always impressed me about him.

Thank you.

Rhonda Bertram

August 24, 2004

Dear Tom:

Trena Harrison forwarded your e-mail to me. Vernon Gudeman's wife, Josephine, is my mother's sister. (I am a first cousin to Mary Ellen. Trena and Rhonda's father was my first cousin also.) I am taking care of Josephine here in Plantation, FL (suburb of Fort Lauderdale). She has been in a nursing home for over 5 years from the effects of a stroke. She is not doing well at the present time, and I will not be able to ask her any questions.

The exact dates of Vernon's work with CNAC or Pan Am I will not be able to substantiate. I know that Vernon and Josephine moved to South Miami sometime around 1952 because he was starting his job with Pan Am. He worked for them until his retirement, but I am not sure when that was. Until he was 65 perhaps.

As far as CNAC is concerned, I have no record of that other than maybe the '40's. That is just a childhood memory of him being gone and Aunt Josephine was living at home with her mother while he was gone.

I am not sure how much help this is to you. It is wonderful what you are trying to accomplish to keep the memories alive.

Doris (Nussbaum) Huber

and this to from Doris...

August 26, 2004

Dear Tom:

If my letter is of any value to you, you may add it to Vernon's page. I am really sorry that we don't seem to know much about Vernon, but he was a very private person and did not like to talk about himself or his service. My husband, Bob, would have been so interested to hear his stories, but Vernon would always steer the conversation in other directions!

You may also add me to your CNAC e-mail distribution list. (I did.)

I wish I could tell Aunt Josephine about your work in Vernon's behalf, but at 93 years old she is not able to comprehend it.

Perhaps one day if I find anything of interest to you, I would be glad to let you know.

Doris Huber

October 17, 2004

Hi Tom,

For your page on Vernon Gudeman.....I just learned that his widow, Josephine Abersoll Gudeman (Aunt Jo), died this afternoon, October 17, in Florida. She was in her mid-90s. Burial will be in Ft. Wayne, IN, next to Vernon. No other details at this time.

Best regards,

Trena Garrison (great-niece)

November 13, 2005

Vernon and Josephine were married in Wolcott, IN, a small farm community. I don't know the year, but maybe I can put out an email SOS to some cousins who might know. I'd guess they were married in Josephine's family home as I remember the porch in one of the photos (that would have been the custom). Their attendants are Josephine's sister, Mabel Abersoll (who died some years later of [I think] leukemia and never married), and the gentleman is Milton Gudeman, a cousin to Vernon, and the brother of Mary Ellen Gudeman, one of the site contributors. Whew! I think I have all of those relationships straight.

I'll get some cousins involved and see what they can come up with for a marriage date. I'll wait a while so you have time to put everything on the site that you want, and they can see the whole thing and perhaps add more, maybe even pictures.

Josephine was just a lovely lady, not only in her gracious ways and personality, but she truly was beautiful.

Best regards,

Trena and Mike Garrison

January 5, 2005

Hi Tom

Thought I would let you know that Mary Ellen Gudeman, Vernon's niece and a contributor to his CNAC page, passed away this Monday in Ft. Wayne, IN. I believe she was 79 and, mercifully, the brain tumor did its work quickly. She had an incredible life, spending 26 years in Japan as a missionary. She was a published short-story and article writer; she also wrote a book about her experiences in Japan. In her obit it also mentioned the death of her brother, Milton, which must have been fairly recent. Milton was part of the wedding party on Vernon's page; the other female attendant, Jo's sister Mabel, died a long time ago. Vernon's wife, Josephine, died just a few weeks ago, and I think you already have that information. And now they're all "Back Home Again in Indiana".

Sorry, I'm rambling. Thanks again for your work to keep "history" alive with CNAC.

Best regards,

Trena Garrison
(Vernon's great-niece)

If you would like to share any information about Vernon L. Gudeman
or would like to be added to the CNAC e-mail distribution list,
please let the CNAC Web Editor, Tom Moore, know.

Background music to this
page can be controlled here.
And, as requested by Vernon's family, here's
"Back Home Again In Indiana"
<bgsound src="indiana.mid" loop=infinite>

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