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Milton Quon’s Secret of Longevity

THIPA member Milton Quon celebrates his 100th birthday on August 22nd, but age is hardly slowing him down.

Milton spends his days painting, reading, exercising and engaging in lively conversation with family and friends. One of Milton’s favorite conversation topics is art. It’s not surprising since he’s spent a lifetime sketching and painting.

“I always wanted to be an artist,” says Milton. “My mother wanted me to become an engineer or a doctor but an uncle told her to let me do what I like.”

Milton won a scholarship to Chouinard Art Institute (now the California Institute of Arts) before getting a job in Walt Disney’s animation department in 1939.

“I worked on Fantasia. The first scene I worked on was the goldfish with the flowing fins and big eyes,” says Milton. “I was also the First Assistant Animator on Dumbo and enjoyed doing the scene with the stork carrying baby Dumbo.”

During World War II Milton, along with other Disney animators, provided illustrations for manuals at Douglas Aircraft before he returned to Disney to head the Promotion and Publicity Department. He worked on films including Song of the South and Make Mine Music. Later, Milton worked at ad agency BBDO and taught evening classes at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. The Chinese American Museum held a show of Milton’s paintings, sketchbooks and various art projects in 2005.

“I traveled to picturesque cities and countries including Mexico and was taught by well-known artists such as Dong Kingman and Charles Reid,” says Milton.

For his 95th birthday, Milton’s family took him to Disneyland where he sat in the VIP section for the Main Street Parade and fireworks show. Another great memory happened in 1994 when he worked as an extra in the film Speed, starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves.. Through it all, Milton sketched, filling more than 100 sketchbooks.

“The standing joke is when somebody would call up and ask for me my wife would say ‘Oh, Milton’s out sketching, he won’t get home until it’s dark or he’s hungry,”
says Milton.

When asked how he’s remained so spry throughout the years, Milton’s answer is simple.

“A good wife, and Chinese food,” he laughs before pausing to reflect. “I’ve been reading that it’s important for seniors to exercise and eat a good, healthy diet and try to stay upbeat,” says Milton. “I’ve always tried to do all of these things.”

Categories: Healthy Living

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