We actually haven’t found an obituary for Donna May Shackford (my grand aunt) but since we recently obtained her death record and aren’t sure if an obituary exists, we thought we’d compile what we could find about her life.
Donna May Shackford, the daughter of Joseph Edward and Donna Lovilla (Evans) Shackford was born on April 11, 1896 in Syracuse, New York. Donna was six when she attended her parent’s 15th anniversary and only twelve when her mother who had been ill for three years died in July 1908 of chronic obstruction of the bile duct. The Syracuse Herald mentions that after her mother’s death, she spent a week at Skanteles Lake with the Huber family.
Donna attended Brighton School until she was fourteen, Syracuse Central High School where in 1912 she participated in a school production of “The Merchant of Venice.” and the Academy of Holy Names in Rome, New York where she won many awards and performed in multiple recitals and solos.
Donna is listed in her father’s Nov 1920 obituary as Mrs William J Brown but as of yet we have not found a marriage record or any information about William. Our next record of Donna is found in the 1925 census in Buffalo, New York living at 23 Tenth Street with roomer Victor Nole – her occupation is housework and his is storekeeper. According to the Buffalo Courier, a Victor A Nole of 64 Myrtle St and Donna M Shackford, 68 Prospect applied for a marriage license about a year later on 12 Feb 1926. We haven’t found a marriage record yet but find Victor A and Donna in multiple Buffalo city directories over the next years. We also find Victor listed in multiple news stories related to illegally selling liquor, car accidents, and driving without an operator’s permit.
We believe that Donna and Victor divorced on June 18, 1947 based on his second marriage application. The Buffalo Courier lists that she and Oscar James Barber who both listed the address of 25 Olsen applied for a marriage license on July 15, 1947. While we can’t find a marriage record, we find them listed together in multiple Buffalo directories where they continued to live at 25 Olsen.
Donna and Oscar moved to Los Angeles around 1963 where they lived at 421 South Chapel in Alhambra, California. She died two years later on February 23, 1965 of arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease at the age of 68 and was buried at the Resurrection Cemetery on Feb 27, 1965.
Unfortunately the research we’ve done doesn’t tell us much about Donna other than her musical skills but perhaps it will help someone someday know a bit more about her. We’ll keep looking for an obituary and any additional articles that tell us more. We haven’t found any source information regarding that marriage at this time but since the marriage records for Erie are not easily available, we’re not ruling out another marriage.
Here’s a copy of Donna’s death record
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
CERTIFICATION OF VITAL RECORDSTATE OF CALIFORNIA
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
State File Number 65-027003 CERTIFICATE OF DEATH DISTRICT AND 7001 CERTIFICAT NUMBER 7871
1a NAME OF DECEASED – FIRST NAME Donna MIDDLE NAME May LAST NAME Barber
2a DATE OF DEATH February 23, 1965 2D HOUR 7:45 P M
3 SEX Female 4 COLOR OR RACE Cauc. 5 BIRTHPLACE New York 6 DATE OF BIRTH April 11, 1896 7 AGE 68
8 NAME AND BIRTHPLACE OF FATHER Joseph Shackford, Unknown 9 MAIDEN NAME AND BIRTHPLACE OF MOTHER Donna Evans, Unknown, 10 CITIZEN OF WHAT COUNTRY USA 11 SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER 066-12-2426
12 LAST OCCUPATION Housewife 13 NUMBER OF YEARS IN THIS OCCUPATION 46 14 NAME OF LAST EMPLOYING COMPANY Own Home
16 DECEASED WAS EVER IN U S ARMED FORCES No 17 SPECIFY MARRIAGE Married 16 a NAME OF PRESENT SPOUSE Oscar J. Barber 18s PRESENT OR LAST OCCUPATION OF SPOUSE Maintenance Man
19c STREET ADDRESS 421 S. Chapel Avenue
19c CITY OR TOWN Alhambra 19s COUNTY Los Angeles 19c LENGTH OF STAY IN COUNTY OF DEATH 2 YEARS 19F LENGHT OF STAY IN CALIFORNIA 2 YEARS
20a LAST USUAL ADDRESS 421 So. Chapel Avenue 20s IF CITY CORPORATE LIMITS X 21a NAME OF INFORMANT Oscar J. Barber
20c CITY OR TOWN Alhambra 20S COUNTY Los Angeles 20c STATE CALIFORNIA 21s ADDRESS OF INFORMANT 421 S. Chapel Avenue
PHYSICIAN OR CORONER’S CERTIFICATION 22 PHYSICIANS Theo J. Carpenter??? MD CORONER
S Baras In MD Sep Med Exam
22a CORONER Investigation 22 ADDRESS Los Angeles Hall of Justice Feb 29 1965
FUNERAL DIRECTOR AND LOCAL REGISTRAR
23 Burial 24 DATE 2-27-65 25 NAME OF CEMETERY Resurrection Cemetery Signature Allison Moore 3256
27 NAME OF FUNERAL DIRECTOR Mater Mortuary Alhambra, Calif. DATE Feb 25, 1965
30 CAUSE OF DEATH Arteriosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease
33 AUTOPSY Autopsy
All posts on this website are a work in progress. We’d love to learn of any corrections or additions to the information shared. Also we’d love it if you’d like the post here or at http://www.facebook.com/shackfordgenealogy) as that helps share the post with others. Thanks!
1900 United States Federal Census, , Syracuse City, Ward 19, enumeration district (ED) Enumeration District 161, Supervisor’s District 12, Sheet No 6, B, House No 210, Dwelling 121 (corrected), Family 128, Joseph Shackford head; digital images, (: accessed 14 August 2013).
1910 United States Federal Census, Onondaga County, New York, population schedule, Syracuse City, enumeration district (ED) Enumeration District No 189, Sheet No 9A, 210 Beard Avenue, Visited No 175, Family No 190, Joseph E Shackford; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com)
1925 New York State Census, Erie County, population schedule, Buffalo, page 46, Donna M Shackford; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed ).
“CONCERT AT HOLY NAMES,” The Rome Daily Sentinel (Rome, New York), 28 April 1916; digital images, Fulton History (http://fultonhistory.com/ : accessed 12 January 2014).
Donna May Barber, death certificate Certificate Number 7871 (23 February 1965), State of California, Department of Public Health, Sacremento, California.
“THE ACADEMY OF THE HOLY NAMES RECEIVES A REPORT OF THE REGENTS ON MUSIC THE SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS,” The Rome Daily Sentinel (Rome, New York), 15 August 1914; digital images, Fulton History (http://fultonhistory.com/ : accessed 9 December 2017).
“FOR ANNIVERSARIES.,” The Syracuse Journal, 25 October 1902; Fulton History (http://www.fultonhistory.com : accessed 24 January 2014).
“Marriage Licenses,” Buffalo Courier (Buffalo, New York), 12 February 1926; digital images, Fulton History (http://fultonhistory.com/ : accessed 30 October 2017).
Pennslyvania, Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950, , Victor A Nole, ; digital images of short records, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org : accessed 30 October 2017).
Sixtieth and Sixty-First Annual Reports of the Department of Public Instruction of the City of Syracuse for the years Ending July 31, 1908-1909 (Syracuse, New York: Single Press, 1909), page 81-86; digital images, HathiTrust (https://babel.hathitrust.org : accessed 10 December 2017.
“Students Present Play,” Syracuse Journal (Syracuse, New York), 13 January 1912; FultonHistory (www.fultonhistory.com : accessed 9 December 2017).
The Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York), 9 August 1908; digital images, FultonHistory (http://fultonhistory.com : accessed 24 January 2014).
The Utica Sunday Tribune (Utica, New York), 31 January 1915; ditial images, FultonHistory (www.fultonhistory.com : accessed 9 December 2017).
“U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995,” database, Ancestry.com (www/ancestry.com : accessed 9 December 2017), Oscar J Barber; Buffalo Directory, 1951.
“U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995,” database, Ancestry.com (www/ancestry.com : accessed 30 October 2017), Victor A Nole; Buffalo Directory, 1932.
“U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995,” database, Ancestry.com (www/ancestry.com : accessed 30 October 2017), Victor Nole; Buffalo Directory, 1942.
“U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 October 2017), Donna M Barber.
“VITAL STATISTICS,” Buffalo Courier-Express (Buffalo, New York), 16 July 1947; digital images, Fulton History (http://fultonhistory.com/ : accessed 7 December 2017).
Copyright 2017 Joanne Shackford Parkes (sharing a link to this post is appreciated but please do not copy this material and paste it elsewhere)
Updated 12/11/2017 title and section to add that Donna was listed as Mrs William J Brown in her father’s obituary.