Ilmar Erik Orav ’75

Ilmar Erik Orav ’75 died April 22, 2012, at his home in Guerneville, Cal., of lymphoma. He was born in New York City on May 26, 1953, and grew up in Valencia and Maracaibo, Venezuela. He was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and spent his junior year studying art and film history at La Sorbonne in Paris. He was fluent in Spanish, French, Italian, and his parents’ native Estonian. He went on to earn a bachelor of fine arts in environmental design from Parsons School of Design. Between 1979 and 1991 he held several positions in New York, included sales/appraisal agent of fine French antiques for Charles J. Winston & Co., art consultant for the state of New York and for Hirschl & Adler Galleries, and director of the Sid Deutsch Gallery. He moved to California in 1991, first to San Francisco and then to Guerneville after receiving a position at Food For Thought (FFT), the Sonoma County AIDS Food Bank, where he worked until cancer overtook him in early 2011. He served as interpreter for FFT’s many Spanish-speaking clients. As a man living with HIV since the early 1980s, his wisdom, empathy, humor, and genuine caring comforted many clients, especially those for whom AIDS was still a stigma. His background in art and antiques was an invaluable asset for FFT’s fundraising auctions. He began working at FFT Antiques in Sebastopol in 2010. He is survived by his mother, Helle Orav-Reiman; a brother, Hiller Orav; and his partner, Eric Keller.

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