Monday, December 5, 2022

Comics: Veda Lufkin, Artist, Letterer and Teacher


Veda Lufkin was born Thada Lucille Benbrook on March 8, 1919, in Rosebud, Montana, according to the Montana County Births at Ancestry.com. However, the spelling of her middle is Luceil at Find a Grave. Lufkin’s parents were Fred Benbrook (1890–1963) and Addie Latham (1889–1969). 

In the 1920 United States Census, Lufkin lived with her parents and older brother in School District 56 of Yellowstone, Montana. Her father was a public school teacher.


Lufkin has not yet been found in the 1930 census. A family tree at Ancestry.com said her parents divorced in the mid-1930s. 

Lufkin attended Moline Senior High School in Moline, Illinois. She graduated in 1936

1936 M yearbook

The Rock Island Argus (Illinois), July 10, 1936, reported Lufkin’s marriage to Richard M. Hill. 
Thada Benbrook Is East Moline Bride

Married to Richard M. Hill of Moline at Evening Rites.

Miss Thada Benbrook, daughter of Mrs. Adeline Benbrook, 2129 Seventh avenue, Moline, became the bride of Richard M. Hill of Moline, son of Mrs. Mary Hill of Marseilles, at 6:30 o’clock last night.

The service took place in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph E. Miller, 2236 Third avenue. East Moline, and the Rev. R. J. VanAlstyne of Port Byron, formerly of East Molina, officiated. 

Miss June Leeper of Molina was the bridesmaid and Revis Benbrook, brother of the bride, was the best man. 

The bride and her attendant descended a stairway and entered the living room where they were met by the bridegroom and the best man in front of the fireplace which was banked with palms, ferns and cut flowers to provide an attractive setting for the wedding. Only a few relatives and friends were present. 

The bride wore a fitted gown of white satin featuring a lace yoke and long sleeves which extended into points at the wrists. The skirt was long with a slight fullness at the bottom. A finger-tip veil of tulle was attached to a tiny lace cup. The bridal bouquet consisted of white roses and babysbreath in an arm arrangement. 

Miss Leeper was in a crepe frock of ashes-of-roses shade made with long skirt and cap sleeves and her flowers were yellow roses. Dinner Is Served.

Following the ceremony a wedding dinner was served in the Millar home, covers being laid at one table which was daintily trimmed in blue and white satin, with a white wedding cake as the centerpiece.

The young couple will begin housekeeping immediately in Moline, deferring their honeymoon trip until later.

The bride attended East Molina and Molina high school and has been engaged as a clerk in the Karmelcorn shop in Molina. Mr. Hill was graduated from Marseilles high school and is employed at the John Deere Plow works in Molina.
At some point Lufkin moved to Chicago, Illinois, where she may have attended an art school. 

According to the 1940 census, Lufkin was single and a member of an uncle’s household in Chicago at 4654 West Ferdinand Street. She worked as a salesgirl at a department store. The census misspelled her first name and had the wrong birthplace. 


Lufkin, as Thada Benbrook, was mentioned in the Chicago Daily Tribune, December 20, 1941. 
Annual Carol Service.
The Chicago College Glee club will present its annual carol service with readings by Miss Thada Benbrook after a candlelight supper at the club at 6 o’clock tomorrow night. Members of the Glee club will be hostesses.
From Chicago Lufkin moved to New York City. 

It’s not known how Lufkin met her husband, Willfred Weymouth Lufkin Jr. They obtained a Manhattan marriage license on June 12, 1943 and married four days later. 





This was Lufkin’s third marriage. The marriage license said she divorced Jack Bernstein on May 14, 1943 in Miami, Florida. 

In the mid-1940s, Lufkin found work in the comic book industry. She was mentioned in the Long Island Star-Journal (Long Island City, New York), January 29, 1944.
Soroptimists Group Hears Jo Carroll
Members of the North Shore Soroptimists Club were entertained at a program and dinner meeting by Jo Carroll of the Queensboro Public Library, Jamaica.

The meeting, held in the Colonial House, Flushing, was arranged by Nell McCormick Thyberg of Kew Gardens, program chairman.

Among the guests were Mrs. Thada Lufkin of Kew Gardens, comic artist; Miss Margaret Schumacher, dietician, and Mrs. Grace Wright, former interior decorator now in photographic work, both of Flushing, and Mrs. Ruth Harrison of Whitestone associated with Mrs. 
Wright.

The next meeting will be held Feb. 10 at the same address with dinner at 6:10 P. M.

In Alter Ego #11, November 2001, Vince Fago, of Timely Comics, was interviewed by Jim Amash. 
Amash: What about other production people or letterers?
Fago: Billie Landis was a musician, sculptor, freelance letterer, and a friend.

Veda Lufkin was a housewife from New Jersey, and she’d letter at home.
Lufkin, her husband and three children were Maplewood, New Jersey residents in the 1950 census. They lived at 455 Walton Road. Lufkin was a housewife and her husband a textile mill vice president. He passed away April 12, 1957. 

Some time later, Lufkin settled in Winsted, Connecticut where she was a public high school art teacher. An obituary in the Hartford Courant (Connecticut), February 24, 1986, said she taught from 1961 to 1972. The Courant, February 17, 1963, reported the Connecticut Scholastic Art prizewinners
Winsted—The Gilbert School: Teacher, Mrs. Thada B. Lufkin; student, David Gundelach. 
Lufkin had an entry in the Academic Artists Association’s 12th Annual Exhibition of Realistic Art (1961). 
34. Thistle, Thada B. Lufkin, Winsted, Conn.
The 1967 Winsted, Connecticut city directory listed Lufkin, as a teacher at the Gilbert School, and her mother. Both were widows who lived off Platt Hill Road.

The Courant said Lufkin “had lived in the Colebrook and Winchester area for 17 years. … She owned and operated Lufkins Rock Cornish Game Hens … and for the last 14 years was the manager of Whale Real Estate, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. She was a member of the Litchfield Art Association, the Colebrook Board of Education and the Footlights Club.”

The Public Records Index, 1950–1993, Volume 2, at Ancestry.com, said Lufkin lived in Edgartown, Massachusetts at 43 Edgewood Drive. 

Lufkin passed away on February 23, 1986, in Hartford according to the Connecticut Death Index. She was laid to rest at New Westside Cemetery


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(Next post on Monday: A Few Details About Artist Vic Carrabotta and His Wife, Connie Zeagler)