Hilber Graf

This December we lost another creative soul. Hilber (David) Graf passed on at the age of 54 due to cancer of the pancreas. He had been diagnosed with the cancer earlier this year. He is survived by his wife Rhea Leigh Graf.

     I had known Hilber since 1998, and he became a dear friend, sharing many of the same interests. I think it is important to remember those that have made a positive impact on people’s lives. Hilber was a jack of all trades in the Hollywood scene. He started doing acting on the stage in the 1970s. Early in his career he got into animation, and rendered many of the Saturday morning cartoons that children watched during the 70s and 80s.

     His artistic creativity soon led him to building special physical effects and miniatures for Hollywood, including such movies as James Cameron’s ABYSS. His work was so highly regarded that he had a regular article column in the hobbyist magazine MODELER’S RESOURCE. Here he passed on his knowledge to others on how to create more interesting, intricate models.

     He had an intense interest in literature, and wrote several manuscripts on ghost-hunting. I was honored that he asked me to help him design the covers for his books.  His creative bent also took him into the realm of screenwriting, of which he was well-versed.

     Hilber had a love of the tropics, and the condo he and his wife shared reflected that. Ancient masks, bamboo, and other island brick a brac made any visitor to his home feel as if they had been transported to the South Seas.

     He was a go-getter and a kind-hearted person disguised in a somewhat gruff exterior. Every Halloween – for years – he would convert his garage into an extensive haunted attraction for the locals to check out. Any proceeds he made were donated to charity, for the benefit of others.

     He was a cat lover, a player of video games, a fan of the Phantasm movie series, and an admirer of the original 1966 Batmobile. The parties the Graf’s threw were legendary. My prayers go out to his friends and family. He was a good man, and will be remembered by those who knew and loved him. His work will live on forever in the television shows and movies that he was part of. Rest in peace, Hilber. You are missed.

Robert Long II – 2009

3 Responses to “In Memory of Hilber Graf”  

  1. 1 Susan

    Thanks for a wonderful article. You were spot on about Hilber, a wonderful, generous, kind man who is sorely missed by me, my hubby and everyone he met. The hospitality of both he and his wife Rhea Leigh will never be forgotten. I was fortunate to participate in his last ever haunted attraction as Lara Croft and will always hold the memories dear. Thank you Hilber for the short time we knew you, a million hugs and kisses!!

    Love- Susan and Chris Hibbert

  2. 2 Fred DeRuvo

    I am sorry to say that I just now heard of Hilber’s passing (2011)! As the article stated, he used to write for my magazine, Modeler’s Resource®. We lost track of one another after I stopped producing the magazine. Sorry to hear of his passing. My prayers are with Rhea.


  1. 1 Hilber Graf's "It's Only Paper" Article - PaperModelers.com

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