The Obit For Phil Graf

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 Phil.

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.