Craig Hieber 1955 - 2002
Condolences from Friends, Colleagues, and Former Students
E-mails from Friends and Colleagues
We are very, very sad about the sudden passing of Craig. Please accept our
deepest, heartfelt sympathy.
Jerry and Phyllis Rovner
It is with sadness that I heard of the passing of Craig Hieber. He and I came out of the
same graduate school (University of Florida) for our Ph.D.s, although his tenure was
later than mine. I had visited with him at several AAS meetings and, while I did not know
him well, I much enjoyed our conversations on spiders. His enthusiasm for his interests
were infectious. We will all miss him.
David B. Richman
I am very sad to hear about Craig. He was a wonderful person and I have many fond
memories of him with you when I was at Cincinnati. He will be missed.
George and Kitty Uetz,
MAN, am I sorry to hear of Craig's death. I recall meeting him and even
briefly was able to pick up his contagious spirit and love of life.
Dear George Uetz,
Betty Jean and I would like you to extend our condolences to Sherry
Hieber and her children and her parents for us. We have not met them,
and it would perhaps be more appropriate for you to help in this way.
Betty Jean and I enjoyed our acquaintance/friendship with Craig very
much, and agree with the comments we've read and heard, which seem to
be uniform and common, that Craig gave a sense of being bigger than
life. But this impression was clearly not put on by him. It was part
of him. We will miss him. Our world is diminished noticeably by not
having him around to harass about something or other, and be harassed
back, enjoyably. Our loss is not that of Sherry and her family, nor
of you, George, and Kitty; but it is our loss as well, nonetheless.
Stim and Betty Jean Wilcox
I was very sad to hear that Craig passed away last week. I fondly remember his
vibrant presence and many discussions with him on spider biology over the years
at the American Arachnological Society meetings. Please pass my condolences on
to his family.
I was shocked and saddened to hear the news about Craig. Your kind words
described him well. Since meeting him, I have never said or written the word
"ebullient" without immediately thinking of him. The spider meetings will
never be the same without him. I was planning on sending him an email
regarding the possibility of identifying some parasitic wasps we have found
in many of our wolf spider egg sacs. It is regrettable that his technical
knowledge on such matters will be lost. I hope you are holding up well
against such sudden news. I would like to extend my condolences to you and
Kitty and to Craig's family for the loss of someone who had enough life for
Dear Sherry Hieber,
My deepest condolences on the loss of Craig. This is a great loss for all
I knew Craig when he was a graduate student at the Univ of Florida. We
shared many late-night hours in our offices and shared a zeal for
biological inquiry. One particularly late night he sent me the weirdest
student I have ever met -- someone who asked to work with him who he
diverted to my lab. Needless to say, he embellished the act with a
long-winded Craig-like story. I won't belabor the point, except to say
that he was an extraordinary guy. I literally have only fond memories of
him. The excitement he had when working on a project; his tireless mind
and pleasant personality made for an extremely enjoyable graduate-student
career. We are all shaped by seminal points in our lives, and by the
social environment present at those times. Surely graduate school is a
fairly common seminal point for academics. I think that all who knew him
then were blessed by his presence. He was a wonderful and important part
of that social environment, with a quick mind and an equally quick
smile. I am truly glad I got to know him. I am truly sad that he is no
longer with us...
My heart goes out to you and the kids. I hope you find some solace in his
memory. He left much for us to remember, fondly.
With best wishes, Jeff Lucas
I'm shocked! It seems like I just saw Craig yesterday (although it's
really been years) and he was so ALIVE! I'm soooo sorry to hear about his
sudden death. I know that the two of you were really good friends and I'm
sure that this comes as a huge shock to you. I just wanted to let you know
how sorry I am and to let you know that I'm thinking about you and his family.
To Craig's family,
All or most or you do not know who I am. I was introduced to Craig by our
mutual friend Dr. George Uetz. George and myself have had a lifelong
friendship developed over a lifetime of summers at Ocean City, NJ. It is
fitting that I met Craig in one of those summers because my fondest memories
of growing up are memories of Ocean City where I met Craig. Craig was visiting
George at George's summer home. I immediately warmed up to him mostly
because of his "way". He was open without a trace of facade. My time with
Craig was too very short. I would have loved to share another evening with
him and George sitting around solving the world's problems over some smooth
Mexican rum procured somehow with a raised eyebrow! I am very sorry for your
loss and obviously the world's loss. When George told me about Craig's
untimely death I was genuinely saddened and I only knew him for a maximum of
10 hours. I can't imagine the pain and loss of your family that was around
him during all of his too brief life. I believe God rewards those who use
their talents. Craig will get a bonus.
God Bless Your Family,
Dear George Uetz,
I was so sorry to hear about Craig. Please pass on my sincerest condolences
to his family. I didn't know Craig well, but we once were on the same ABS
field trip and noticed the similarities in our names. I remember him having
a great sense of humor and fascinating tales to tell about his spiders. I'm
sure he will be truly missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him.
Thank you for your moving tribute to him.
To Craig's family:
I wanted to express my sympathy to you. I am one of Craig's arachnology
colleagues. We are all stunned. Craig was one of the most alive people
I knew. Most of us, it seems, have to remind ourselves to "Seize the
day" or "Live in the moment" or follow some other injunction to get us
out of our heads and into reality, but it sure seemed like Craig never
needed anyone to tell him that. I had the good fortune to be part of the
team in Mexico for two years with Craig, George, and others, and I
remember Craig's boisterous laugh and great stories on the veranda in
the evening. I remember how very entertaining it was to watch him eat
spicy garlic soup! The whole trip was given an aura of downright,
jolly, belly-laugh FUN that it never would have had without his
Craig was a great reminder to all of us that you can do good science and
be an asset to your profession and have a life too. He seemed very
balanced, especially compared to most neurotic academics. To talk to
Craig for even 10 minutes was to hear stories about his family--all
good! His love for you glowed.
In greatest sympathy,
Dear Sherry, Eddie, and Jana Hieber,
I am just so shocked and saddened by Craig's passing, that I really don't know
where to begin. Maybe when I first met him would be a good place to start. He was
a big, strong, outgoing person who made a positive impact on everyone he met.
Craig started his doctoral program at the University of Florida just as I was finishing
my own program at the same institution. As I was employed near campus, and we
had a fairly active arachnological community in Gainesville at the time, I got to visit
with him on a regular basis, and so we became friends. Sherry, I sure wish we had
got to know you better while you were in Gainesville. I lost my first wife shortly
after you moved, so I know exactly what you are going through now. You have
my most heartfelt condolences.
Thanks to George Uetz, I had the opportunity to visit the Mexico research sites while
Craig was involved with the Metepeira research. I bought a cowboy hat to match
the other guys, and the three of us went around as Los Tres Amigos. That was one of
my most memorable trips, and the comraderie was great, with Craig being one of the
most prominent leaders and entertainers. I feel privileged to have shared some of those
adventures of which George has so eloquently reminded us.
Eddie and Jana Hieber,
I have two children of my own, and I don't even want to think about what my
daughters would feel if I was suddenly gone from their lives. I know your Dad
was very proud of you both and loved you very much. Keep these thoughts in
your heart always, and never forget that there were many, many people who
loved and respected your Dad. He was a person that many others looked up to,
and he will be greatly missed.
May his love for you carry you onward.
In loving memory, never forgotten,
G. B. Edwards
Hi George Uetz -- I just read, with shock, the notice on the JoA website about Craig.
Your eulogy pretty much covered all the thoughts and images that immediately
came to my mind. I haven't been able to get to AAS meetings for over a decade
now. I ALWAYS looked forward to encounters with Craig at those meetings.
And those encounters are one of the things I have missed over the last years.
Off we go, into the future, with one less great attitude to help us on our
E-mails from former students
Hello, my name is Daria Harvey and I am an alumni of Saint Anselm College.
I visited the website this afternoon and learned of the tragic loss of Dr. Hieber.
I wanted to express my condolences and prayers to his family. I did have the
fortunate opportunity to have him for a class and experience his love, not only
for biology, but also for teaching. In class, he frequently talked about his family
and his love for you was evident. Dr. Hieber certainly helped to make Saint
Anselm College a better place for the students and staff and that will never be
I am deeply sorry for your loss and will keep your family in my prayers.
Daria Harvey Alumni 2001
To the family and friends of Dr. Hieber,
I would like to offer you my most sincere apologies for your recent and sudden loss.
I had Dr. Hieber for second semester biology as many St. Anselm students have.
Dr. Hieber always presented the material with great enthuasiasm and an obvious
love for teaching. His humerous ancedotes and animated gestures certainly kept
my attention during lecture. I will never forget his "spider dance" when learning
about the mating habits of different species. Although words nor emails can do a
justice for your loss, I assure you that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Class of 2005
As a former Invertebrate Zoology student and research assistant of Dr. Hieber,
I would like to express my profound sadness and sympathy to the family.
Professor Hieber was a joy to learn from, and his zeal for invertebrates was
infectious in class. I thouroughly enjoyed my time examining the seemingly
endless critters that were housed in glass jars throughout the lab. He was so
excited to show us how they came about, what their differences are, how they
live, eat, breathe. He had many a story to tell about his travels in Mexico studying
my favorite inverts-spiders. He possessed an obvious love for the subject not
common amongst those who teach it day in and day out. I not only learned
about inverts, I gained, from him, excitement about them. His class was one of
my favorites, and the research experience I gained with him was very valuable.
His knowledge! and fervo r will be obvious
To Mrs. Hieber and the children, I am truly sorry for your immense loss.
Michelle Nicole Broome
Class of 2001
I just heard the news about Dr.Hieber and would like to send my condolences.
Dr. Hieber ("Hiebes") was a wonderful teacher who actually made learning about
Invertebrates and Ecology fun. Who knew that a Biology Professor could be so
down to Earth? St.Anselm has truly lost one of their best teachers and he will
surely be missed. I am very sorry for your loss!
Sincerely, Tracy Boutilier
To Dr. Hieber's family and friends,
I hate spiders, but by the end of Dr. Hieber's Ecology class I was at least fascinated by them.
I was very sad to hear of your loss and the loss to future Biology majors who
won't have the pleasure to sit in one of his classes. He was one of the best
teachers in my educational experience. Inspiring, full of humor, and someone
you wanted to learn statistics from (an achievement in itself). Any tribute is
not enough, he will be missed.
To all those who loved Professor Hieber -
I, along with others in the Class of 2000, were shocked and saddened to hear
of Professor Hieber's sudden passing. I would like to take this chance to let
you know that no, I was not a biology major - though I have a general interest
in biology, I really only took it as a graduation requirement. However, myself
and my best friend (also Class of 2000 and not a bio major) forged a lifelong
friendship around Professor Hieber's class. His love of biology - especially
spiders! - was the kind of passion that is rarely seen, and stays with both of
us to this day. He was a wonderful person and an excellent professor, and
we send our most heartfelt condolences in this difficult time. May God
bless all of you; you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Erica Nicole Savino
Saint Anselm College
Class of 2000
Dear family and friends of Professor Hieber,
My name is Jennifer Jacques and I graduated a year ago from St. A's. I just heard
today of your loss and I was devastated. I assure you it was deeply felt by many.
I had Professor Hieber for General Biology and let me tell you, I hate Biology!
However, Professor H made it fun with his wacky sense of humor and quirky
way of making concepts hit home and stay there! He bent over backwards to
get me through it and made a subject that was not my favorite, fun. I am so
sorry for your loss. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers, as with many.
Jen Jacques '01
To the Hieber family and friends,
I give my sincerest condolences regarding the passing of Dr. Hieber. My name is
Eric Dunleavy and I am a 2000 graduate from St. A's currently working on my
doctorate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at the University of Houston.
I had Dr. Hieber for Biology in the spring of my freshman year, but it was a
conversation that I had with him my senior year that I will always remember him for.
As a psychology major I had little contact with the Biology department faculty
after finishing my biology requirements. One day in mid-April I found out that
I was accepted to multiple graduate schools and I panicked. One was in Chicago
and the other in Houston, and I had neither the time nor expertise to compare
the two in a meaningful fashion.
I was in the psychology department waiting for my advisor's arrival to discuss
the situation. Dr. Hieber walked in to give something to a faculty member and
overheard my situation as I described it to a fellow student.
He sat down next to me and asked if I had any questions about graduate school
(having not had a conversation with me in 3 years). What followed was an hour
long conversation about everything from dissertations to automobiles, teaching
assistantships to girlfriends.
Dr. Hieber praised the graduate school experience and the scientific community,
and answered every question I could fathom. Regarding my choice of graduate
programs, he told me to follow my intuition and forget about the list of criteria
I had in my hands. He said that I would know where I fit like he did.
He spent a significant portion of his afternoon talking with a non-biology student
that he barely new. I didn't need to know anything more than that to realize that
he was a fantastic person willing to go the extra-mile for anyone. And on top of
that his advice was right on the money :)
I don't think I ever talked to him again after that, but I have a feeling that he
knows that hour was greatly appreciated. There is something special about making
a difference in unpredictable ways, and that was exactly what he did for me.
Honestly, I am not sure why I am sharing this story (which has turned into a
2 volume set), but I think it shows how little it takes to make a difference.
Again, my sincerest regret for your loss, but know that he has made a difference
in the lives of many, and is still doing so where ever he may be.
Eric M. Dunleavy
University of Houston
I am an alum of St Anselm and just recently saw on the website of St A's that
Dr Hieber has passed away. I graduated in 1999 and remember Dr Hieber
from Freshman Biology. I just wished to send my deep regard and condolences
to his family and friends during this time of sorrow.
May God bless you and take care of you during this difficult time.
Class of '99