Mildred Buckner Hoffman, Class of 1931

February 23, 2002
Santa Paula High School
By B. J. Harding, President, SPUHS Alumni Association Biography #166 (Have you submitted yours?)One of the nine children of John M. and Rosa Spellman Buckner, Mildred started her schooling at Saticoy School, and in the 7th grade moved to Briggs School. She started SPUHS in 1927. Since this was the beginning of the depression, transportation was limited so she was not able to attend after school functions.At the 60th class reunion of the Class of 1931 in June 1991, Mildred reached back into her memory to give the class history. She recalled there were 73 members of her senior class, with Class President Maurice Greiner, and Shannon Sheldon as Student Body President.The principal was Freeman Eakin and the campus clubs included: CSF, Norb Duarte president; the Home Ec Club, Cora Brown, president; and the Spanish Club, Vera Verrall, vice president. Some of the Commercial Club members were Klare Strange, Dick Cook, Bill Cochran and “Shot” Frye. Some in the Girls Glee Club were Marion Call, Mary Caldwell and Madeline Todd; and the Boys Glee Club was represented by Milt Harvey, Everett Black and Carl Beckwith.Among the orchestra members were Brad Tozier, Merrill Harrington, Mary Teague and Carl Dwire, and some of the band members were Sid Lang, Mel Uffen and Kathleen Blair. The Music Department was headed by H. Peyton Johnson.The coach was Stanley Summers, who produced winning teams with the team average weight of 133 pounds. Polo Coronado set a school track record of 2:04 for an 880 yard run, and the relay team of Coronado, Dwire, Carlton Thoms and Kenneth Brown set a record of 1:32.2. 1931 was the opening of the new gymnasium, later to be called the Randall Bryden Gymnasium.The debating team consisted of Phoebe Churchill, Agnes Wood and Helen Gilbertson, among others. The History Club became the International Club, and Rhe Nelson was the sponsor.
One of the crowning achievements of the school year was the production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “HMS Pinafore” with the combined efforts of the Glee Clubs and the orchestra. The Soroptimist Club held a dinner-dance in honor of the Senior girls that year. It was also noted that in the four years of the Class of 1931, the faculty grew from 15 members to 26.Following graduation, Mildred went to Woodbury College in Los Angeles and trained as a secretary. She went to work for Chrysler Motors assembly plant, starting as a billing clerk and working up to the secretary for the factory auditor.In 1939 Mildred married John Hoffman, a friend of her brothers. In 1942 she went to work for the Internal Revenue Service. When John was drafted and sent to Seattle, Washington for training, Mildred followed him, remaining there until he was sent overseas. She then returned to Santa Monica to work for Douglas Aircraft. John’s mother worked as an electrologist and trained Mildred in that field, so she worked for her until the close of the war.John and Mildred had two children, Jean, now a teacher, and Jonathan, who works for the Santa Monica Police Department. Mildred was a stay-at-home mom and started a typing business at home while raising her children. She also supported her children in the activities of Cub, Boy and Girl Scouts, Job’s Daughters, and church youth groups.John passed away at 85. Mildred keeps in touch with family and looks forward to her high school class get-togethers to relive old times with former friends.

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