Feb. 6, 1933-Sept. 14, 2013
John Henry Kramer was born Feb. 6, 1933, to Henry Sr. and Anna E. (Schroeder) Kramer on their small farm near Wilton, Minn. He entered this world with the temperature at 56 degrees below zero!
John loved the outdoors while growing up, and with his family enjoyed fishing, hunting, trapping, berry picking, and raising a big garden. He put himself through two years of college by trapping mink and other fur-bearing animals.
John enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict and served until 1955, as a Morse code operator. He was stationed on the island of Formosa (now Taiwan), where he learned to speak Chinese.
After an honorable discharge, John earned a degree in education at Bemidji State College in Minnesota under the GI Bill.
He was married to Ann Thompson on July 6, 1957, in Bemidji. They enjoyed a 10-day honeymoon canoeing along the border between Minnesota and Canada. They continued to delight in canoe trips in the wilds of Canada until shortly after their children were born.
John taught high school in Duluth, Minn., and then enrolled in Wartburg Lutheran Seminary where he studied for two years. He next interned as a chaplain at Emmanuel Hospital in Portland, and finished his studies at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn.
John pastored two parishes in central Wisconsin before being called to start a mission church in Gold Beach in 1965. A church was built, (Bethany Lutheran) which still stands in Gold Beach today. John and Ann were very much involved in the Charismatic movement that swept the country in the 1960s.
A few years later, John resigned from the Lutheran Church to return to teaching — this time at Ophir School to teach sixth grade. His students loved him, and he had a way of making classes fun. John became a rural mail carrier with the U.S. Postal Service in 1977, retiring in 1994. Ann retired as a primary school teacher from the Gold Beach School District in 1993.
During their retirement, John and Ann loved to garden, hike, hunt and fish. Prospecting in Northern California was another fun activity. John had a wonderful, spontaneous sense of humor and was fun to be around. He was a hard worker and a great husband, father and friend. He was a faithful member of the Gold Beach Foursquare Church since its beginning. As a sideline, John also collected driftwood and weathered boards to create beautiful lamps, bookends, and picture frames to sell in local gift shops. He was especially famous for his frames.
John died September 14, 2013, at the age of 80, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. He will be sorely missed, but his family knows that he is now enjoying perfect health in Heaven with his Savior, Jesus.
John is survived by his wife Ann of Gold Beach; their three children: Mark Kramer (wife Corrina) of Gold Beach, Kristin Cox (husband Fred) of Ashland, and Karin Kramer of Olympia, Wash. He is also survived by eight wonderful grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; his brother Norman Kramer of Idaho Falls, Idaho; and his sister Edith Dalleska of St. Paul, Minn. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Henry Jr. and Robert.
John and Ann long had a passion for pro-life work, and the family requests in lieu of flowers, remembrances in John’s name be made to the Pregnancy Care Center, P.O. Box 861, Crescent City, CA 95531, or to Gideon’s International, P.O. Box 140800, Nashville, TN 37214.
A service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Gold Beach Foursquare Church, in the Extension Service Building at the fairgrounds, 29390 Ellensburg Ave.
Submitted by the family.