Donald Duck, Animation Bloggers & Ancestry.Com, or Robin’s Rules of Research #2 & #3

Dick Lundy, 1933 (courtesy Joe Campana)

With Juanita Sheridan’s Hawaii marriage certificate, info from the Advertiser article, and a little bit of Googling, I found Richard “Dick” Lundy, Juanita’s second husband who she was married to while working at Disney.  It turns out that Dick Lundy was well known in animation circles and credited with working on the early Disney classic “Steamboat Willie” as well as helping to develop Donald Duck.  For those interested in Lundy’s career after Juanita, check out a letter from Dick Lundy to Mary Mayerson.

Another  Animation History blog by Joe Campana actually had biographical information about Dick and his marriage to Juanita, including the addresses of the houses they lived at.  Camapana’s blog page about another Disney animator Art Babbitt told of a 1934 summer trip that Babbitt took with Dick and Juanita Lundy to New York, sailing back through the Panama Canal to Los Angeles.

How did Campana get all of this information – had he known Juanita and Dick personally?  Could he have information that would lead me to the real Lily Wu?  I had never tried to contact a blogger before and didn’t know if it was correct blogging etiquette to do so, but there was an email address listed, so I  threw out the questions anyway.

I became a real  fan of hard-working, independent bloggers everywhere when Joe answered me back right away with a very informative email:

“Here is everything I have on Juanita Light (Lundy…)

She was born 15 November 1906 in Oklahoma City, OK.
Her parents appear to have been John R. and Ora B. Light, they had both been born in Texas.
At the time of the 1910 census the family was living at 917 W. California Street in Oklahoma City.
(a copy of the 1910 census page is attached)

Portion of 1910 Census showing Juanita Light daughter of John and Ora

As far as her marriage to Richard “Dick” Lundy, I have only been able to confirm that they were married for a few years 1932-1934. The marriage may have started earlier and ended later, but I have not been able to find dates as yet. (Dick was single in April 1930 and he had remarried by 1939.) There is no record of any children from this marriage.

She must have been gone from the Disney Studio by 1936 — at the time Social Security Numbers were issued to all employees. I would guess that she would have had good reason to leave at this time because the studio was really expanding during production of Snow White.

Regarding the trip from New York; I am including a copy of the passenger manifest. I cannot imagine what brought them to vacation together, but this must have been the few weeks in summer when the studio was closed for a hiatus.

As best I can figure, she passed away in (or around) Guadalajara, Mexico in May, 1974 as Juanita Graham.
(Though I am not totally certain that this is her, I do know that the “Juanita” in this case was born 15 November 1906, and had lived in Hawaii — because that is where her Social Security Number was issued.)

I have researched the work and lives of almost 500 people who worked in and around the field of animation. Information that was very hard to find when I began this work some fifteen years ago. Most of the information I have was obtained by digging through city and state records, old phone books and city directories in the main branch of the Los Angeles Library.  More recently I have turned to Ancestry.com to further my research.”

Well I knew about digging through old phone books in the library, but I had not heard of Ancestry.com.  This little gem of  a database would lead me to all sorts of future discoveries, and I will be forever indebted to Joe Campana for being the first one to tell me about it.  Although a fee is required to access most of the information on Ancestry.com, at most public libraries you can log on for free!  If you are looking for info on dead people, this is the nearest thing to heaven on earth.

So here are Robin’s Rules of Research #2 & #3:  Never hesitate to contact a blogger for leads on obscure pieces of information; and make Ancestry.com one of the first stops when searching for clues on elusive dead people.

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About nestedegg

Robin Lung is a documentary filmmaker currently producing a film about the first American feature length documentary to win an Academy Award.
This entry was posted in Archival Research, Dick Lundy, Juanita Sheridan, Walt Disney Studios. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Donald Duck, Animation Bloggers & Ancestry.Com, or Robin’s Rules of Research #2 & #3

  1. Dick Lundy looks a bit like Prince Charles?? 😉

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