Clayton Ono


Class of 1970

I knew Clayton Ono and his family when I was growing up. Although I was older than him, our families had parties and outings with the Shiroma and Hidani families. Our family is saddened by the news of his passing.

For those of you who would like to add something to this page. Photos etc. Please let me know.

Dan Iki send info to

Name: Jim Hishinuma 01/09/2004
Year of Graduation: 1970 - Chofu
Comments: Sad news from Hawaii. My brother got this email from Gail (Ono) Toyama:

Just wanted to drop you a line since you knew of my brother, Clayton...but he passed away after a long battle with diabetes. After over 10 years on dialysis, he had a kidney transplant in Nov. of 2002. But last August, it failed and since then, he was constantly in and out of the hospital due to fevers and infections. My sister and I went to visit him in late October and early December when he was on life support. After much testing, they took him off on 12/11 and he passed away peacefully on 12/14. He was on dialysis and was legally blind but worked until pretty close to when he got his transplant...his doctor said he was amazing to be doing that (most people on dialysis don´t work, etc.).


Please send your condolences to Gail (Ono) Toyama

It was sad to read about the death of Clayton Ono. He was like a brother to me too. Our parents were friends when we were very young, and I have fond memories of family picnics and trips that we enjoyed together, along with the Iki, Hidani, Hashimoto, and Kameda families. We had wonderful experiences growing up together that I will always remember, including great times at Yamato High School. I´m glad to have know Clayton, and I´m sure that he will be missed by all who knew him.

Curtis Shiroma 2004-01-27 03:30:10

As most you know Clayton and I were best of friends,he lived with me when he first came to Calif.He was dianosed with diabeties around 1979 while taking a physical for a mailman job...Anyway Clayton started working w/troubled boys in group homes and after years of this his health started working against him.But he never really changed his diet,he would love to go get gyoza,ebi,katsudon,calif rolls......and DIET A & W ROOT BEER........ matter of fact that what he wanted before he passed........Clayton worked for the State of California for 10 plus years....Clayton love was sports,
he and I would talk for hours,about our disappointment in the Dodgers and others..... It was nice taking him to the Yamato Reunion but before that he and I would meet Ken&Bud Hamer along w/ Mark Marshall. We would smoke a Monte Cristoand play cards and craps for hours and at dinner's talk was always about Yamato years, and what should have or could have done (chasing girls, drinking at the lake, flag football in the park).

Webb, Jerrald"

I am so saddened by Clayton's passing. But he had such a difficult time in the last part of his life, that maybe Irene is right. Clayton is in a better place. I still remember his teasing and laughing and "catching some ZZZZ's" (taking a nap). I remember him at football games, in wrestling matches, and in random classrooms, always leading his posse with stories and jokes. He was well known at school, and very popular. I remember his close relationship with his wrestling coach, was it coach Young? I remember their mutual affection and respect. I wish I remembered more about this friendly, talented man. I would be interested in hearing about other people's remembrances.


From: Leola Lapides[]
Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 12:19 PM

Clayton was a SENIOR when I was a FRESHMAN. He was someone I looked up to. I knew there was a gentle heart and spirit from the first day I met him. We lived outside Gate 7 - "The Laundry Gate" in West Tachikawa, so we rode the same school bus. Between Clayton and Jim Kimoto, I could always count on
getting a "saved seat" in the back of the bus, even though under classmen had to get on last.

Clayton got me into the Yamato spirit because of his commitment in football and wrestling. Clayton and Sue Culbertson were selected as Senior Superlatives- Most Athletic. Clayton and Lester Smith were captains
of the wrestling team their senior year. He was in Lettermen's Club all four years at Yamato too. He had the greatest laugh and beautiful smile that I can visualize today.

Clayton and I kept in touch since he graduated from Yamato in 1970. He lived in Hawaii first and then transferred to Findlay College in Findlay, Ohio before settling in California. It was Coach Eaton (Guidance Counselor and Wrestling Coach) who advised him to attend Findlay College. Coach Eaton lived in Toledo, Ohio where Clayton would visit or stay during college breaks. We wrote about our ups and downs during college, our love life, Yamato days and just about anything. He had the most incredible handwriting too! These letters from him look type written.

Although we didn't see each other for 17 years until the 1987 Torrance, California Yamato Reunion, we continued to correspond. And then we saw each other again after 13 more years at the 2001 Las Vegas Reunion. He was the same --- warm heart, sweet smile and his incredible spirit.

I have many fond memories of Clayton. He was like a brother to me and will be deeply missed.

Linda Sims Cutler '73