June 3, 2010

The Lofft Family

"Ted and Nina are two little children
just like you.
Ted is four years old.
Ted wears a striped jersey.
He goes to kindergarten.
Nina is six years old.
Nina wears a plaid skirt.
She goes to school.
Tippy, the little dog, is just a puppy.
Tippy goes everywhere that he shouldn't.
He wears a little tail and a happy look."

Shadrach George Lofft, son of William Lofft and Margaret Sloan, was born 22 Mar 1865 in Lapeer, MI and died 17 Jan 1937 in Collingswood, NJ. He married Ruby Adele Tuttle, daughter of Columbus Tuttle and Eunice Hough, 30 Nov 1886 in Lapeer. She was born there 28 Sep 1867 and died 5 Jul 1958 in Collingswood.

In addition to his profession of photography, Shadrach was an illustrator who loved to draw pastel and crayon portraits. Unable to support his family as a photographer, the family moved in 1902 to Philadelphia where he worked for a Dry Plate company.

Children of Shadrach and Ruby Lofft:

Nina Eunice Lofft was born 3 Dec 1887 in Lapeer, MI and died 3 Apr 1918 in Collingswood, NJ. She married Horace K. Price.

Marguerite Ethel Lofft was born 14 Mar 1889 in Lapeer and died 17 Jun 1987 in Philadelphia, PA. She entered high school in 1904, but a year later began to sing professionally as a contralto in a Presbyterian choir and soon withdrew from high school for more musical training.

She met John Dailey “Dai” de Angeli, a violinist, in 1908 and married him Apr 1910 in Toronto, Canada. After living in many locations in the American and Canadian West, they settled in a suburb of Collingswood, NJ. There, in 1921, Marguerite started to study drawing under her mentor Maurice Bower. The following year, she began illustrating a Sunday school paper and was soon doing illustrations for magazines such as The Country Gentleman, Ladies’ Home Journal and The American Girl.

Her first book, Ted and Nina Go to the Grocery Store, was published in 1935 and featured her siblings as its main characters. It was followed by Ted and Nina Have a Happy Day (1936) and a Summer Day With Ted and Nina (1940).

You can read the Ted and Nina series online at http://www.deangeli.lapeer.org/Ted-Nina/index.html.

Other books in which her family members are characters include: Copper-Toed Boots (1938), a portrayal of the mid-nineteenth century rural life of her father in Lapeer, MI; Turkey for Christmas (1944), a semi-autobiographical account describing her family’s first Christmas in Philadelphia after moving there in 1902; and Fiddlestrings (1974), based on the boyhood of her husband Dai in the 1890s.

Dai was born 10 Apr 1880 in Toronto. He died 8 month before their 60th wedding anniversary on 18 Jul 1969. Two years after his death, Marguerite published her first autobiography, Butter at the Old Price (1971). Her last work, Friendship and Other Poems (1981) was published when she was 92 years old. During her lifetime, Marguerite wrote and illustrated 28 books and illustrated more than three dozen books and numerous magazine stories and articles for other authors. Her own work explored and depicted the traditions and rich cultural diversity of common people more frequently overlooked.

William Arthur Lofft was born 4 Jun 1894 in Lapeer and died in 1965.

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