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Craig Hieber, Ph.D. (Tribute)

Craig Hieber 1955 - 2002

Condolences from Friends, Colleagues, and Former Students

E-mails from Friends and Colleagues

Dear Sherry,

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


George Uetz,


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.

Dave Clark


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.

Thane Maynard


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


George Uetz


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.

Bruce Cutler



George Uetz


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

several people.

-Matt Persons



Dear Sherry Hieber,

My deepest condolences on the loss of Craig. This is a great loss for all

of us.

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



George Uetz,

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.

Eileen Hebets




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,


Jack Sparagna



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.


Laurie Hiestand



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,


Beth Jakob




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



Robb Bennett



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.



Emily Cantin

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.




Georgia Murray



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.


Best wishes,


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.



Cindy Panish

Class of '99




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