Philip Ross Graf
Published in Los
Angeles Daily News on February 18, 2010
PHILIP ROSS GRAF
Passed away unexpectedly in the early morning of February 8, 2010. Phil
was born an only child on January 14, 1937 in Sioux City, Iowa to parents,
Irene and Kinner Graf.
From Iowa, the Graf family moved to Florida and Oklahoma while Kiner was
a part of the Dodgers club. They finally settled in Inglewood, where Phil
graduated from Inglewood High School in 1955.
Throughout high school and his time at El Camino College, Phil played
basketball and baseball. Shortly after being accepted to USC, he was drafted
into the Dodgers club as the Number One Pitcher draft pick when the Brooklyn
Dodgers were moved to Los Angeles.
An outstanding athlete, Phil played Triple A baseball with the Dodger
chain. However after a few injuries and starting a family, he cut his
baseball career short and returned to Inglewood.
In 1962, he entered the Escrow industry at Title Insurance and Trust in
Downtown Los Angeles. On May 5, 1980, he formed Commerce Escrow Company
with Jack Heger. Then, in 1982, he and business partner, Mark Minsky,
moved the company to its present location on Wilshire Blvd. in Downtown
Los Angeles. Throughout the years, Phil gained an impressive reputation
in the Real Estate Industry and will be sorely missed.
He was a loving man with a generous heart who is survived by his daughters,
Pamela Whelehon and Danielle Graf; his son, Philip Kevin Graf; his stepson,
Michael Jones; and his five grandchildren. Another son, Tony, predeceased
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held this Saturday, February
20th at 11 :00am in the SkyRose Chapel within the Rose Hills Cemetery
in Whittier. A reception shall follow in the Camino Room at the Quiet
Cannon Golf Course in Montebello.