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Tiki Central Forums » » Beyond Tiki » » sad news - John Hench passes...
sad news - John Hench passes...
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 25, 2002
Posts: 1562
Posted: 2004-02-05 1:03 pm   Permalink

John Hench - Disney Imagineer and designer of much of the 1967 Tomorrowland passed away last night. This memo was sent out by Marty Sklar of WDI today:
Walt Disney Imagineering Memorandum

To: All Imagineers Date: February 5, 2004

From: Marty Sklar

Subject: The Passing of John Hench

I regret to inform you that our friend and mentor, the true Imagineer, John Hench passed away of heart failure during the night. He is survived by his wife, Lowry.

A memorial celebration of John’s life and accomplishments is being planned and will be held in a few weeks. A private family service will also be held; in lieu of flowers John’s family requests that contributions be made to Providence St. Joseph’s Foundation (Cardiology Department).

John was an original, not just a Disney original, but an original, period. In May, he would have celebrated his unprecedented 65th year in The Walt Disney Company, during which time his achievements are perhaps exceeded only by those of Walt Disney himself. (On Saturday night at the Alex Theater in Glendale I have the honor to accept, for John, The Winsor McCay Award from the International Animated Film Society, “in recognition of a lifetime career contributions to the art of animation.”)

In a statement for release to the media, Michael Eisner said: “John Hench taught me and so many others about the essence of the Disney legacy. He was at Walt’s side during the creation of so much classic entertainment and continued to be a vital creative force for our company right up until the end. John will be greatly missed by all of us who were privileged to work with him and by everyone who cherishes Disney family entertainment. For years he held the torch high and now he has passed it on.”

We will all sorely miss the advice, critiques, design and philosophy about the Disney parks and resorts, and about life and learning, John conveyed to everyone he touched. Fortunately, he left us a treasure of “how to” examples, embodied especially in his book, Designing Disney – Imagineering and the Art of the Show, published last fall. And of course, he left us an archive full of sketches and paintings and ideas.

One of the last true Walt Disney icons has left us. How fortunate we are as Imagineers, and as human beings, that John Hench touched our professional and personal lives.


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tiki mick
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 11, 2003
Posts: 398
From: Socal
Posted: 2004-02-05 1:17 pm   Permalink

how sad!

tommorrowland used to be such a cool space-pop icon.......

now it looks like hell!

The only artist I feel that could change it back to the way Hench designed it...would be SHAG...that guy seriously needs to be hired by Disney, to do a tomorrowland make-over...and return it to it's former googie glory!!

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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 0
Posted: 2004-02-05 2:35 pm   Permalink

What exactly did John Hench pass?

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Unga Bunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5857
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2004-02-05 2:53 pm   Permalink

Adventure Through Inner Space

Carousel of Progress

Submarine Voyage

Rocket Jets

A Tiki Cheers To You

[ This Message was edited by: Unga Bunga on 2004-02-05 15:05 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 25, 2002
Posts: 1562
Posted: 2004-02-06 12:08 pm   Permalink

The quality isn't good - but here is some of his artwork:


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 25, 2002
Posts: 1562
Posted: 2004-03-19 12:02 pm   Permalink

Our own Doug Marsh posted a very detailed (and very accurate) report on last weeks tribute to John Hench at the Universal Sheraton.


Almost every important Imagineer from W.E.D.s good old days were there...
Rolly Crump spoke about John:
"So, concluded Rolly, “He did kinda teach me how to trace the tikis for the Tiki Room.” As he finished his comments, Rolly sheepishly admitted, “I would love to tell you stuff that I can’t tell you.”

It was surreal to see Eisner & Roy Disney, Jr. in the same place, being cordial to each other & paying tribute to Hench. Definately a interesting event...


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 3006
From: San Diego, Ca.
Posted: 2004-03-19 12:11 pm   Permalink

The original Tiki Room Restaurant design!
Rev. Dr. Frederick J. Freelance, Ph.D., Th.D., D.F.S

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