Mary Kramer

Obituary of Mary M. Kramer

Mary Margaret Kramer (ALLGOR), passed away peacefully on February 16, 2022. She was born July 10, 1926 in Butte, Nebraska the second daughter in a family of 5. When she was eight, the family moved to Rosemount, Minnesota where she found friends and excelled academically. In 1943 she graduated from Rosemount High School as salutatorian. She married her great love, Paul S. Kramer, on September 21, 1946, after his service in WWII. They had three children, Wesley, Leon and Joan. From the start of their marriage, Mary applied her faith and her considerable talents to helping Paul follow his passion for art and to building their family. Their life involved travel - they lived in Philadelphia while Paul studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, and later lived in Spain and then in Scotland where Paul painted. Mary figured out how to finance the trips, rent their home, travel in the 50’s and 60’s to unknown destinations all with her children in tow. She home schooled Leon and Wes in Spain as well as learned enough of the language to buy groceries and make friends. In their later years, Paul and Mary spent a few winters in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Through their combined determination and talent, Paul's reputation as a painter and sculptor was established in Saint Paul. They had a comfortable home which nurtured their life together and three children of whom they were proud. When her children were grown, Mary pursued her interest in family history and carefully researched and wrote two books - one about the Kramer/Lindscheid families (Paul's ancestors) and a second about the Allgor/Atkinson families (Mary's ancestors). Both books are cataloged in the Library of Congress. Later, she also wrote a loving memoir about her life which the family cherishes. Mary felt profoundly grateful for the blessings God had given her and Paul, and she expressed that by finding ways to volunteer wherever they lived. She worked at the airport greeting Armed Service members and received an award for her 250 hours of service. For years she worked at the society for the blind. She also served on many committees at House of Hope Presbyterian church as well as at Becketwood, a cooperative where they lived for 18 years. Mary affirmed those around her, she would reach out to others listening carefully to their concerns and counsel them with words of the faithful. Mary's faith sometimes took concrete shape in the form of butterflies - in particular, she once asked God to send her butterflies as a sign that moving to Becketwood was the right thing to do, and multiple butterflies appeared. To her children and grandchildren, Mary is remembered as the beating heart of the family, the classy Queen of the Kramers. She was the #1 cheerleader for her children and grandchildren, encouraging them to follow their dreams. She remembered every birthday, and gave amazingly thoughtful gifts (often involving Paul's handiwork). In particular, she loved having the family together at Christmas, and this was communicated through her beautiful decorations, gifts and food. She enjoyed walking in Battle Creek Park and the opportunity for quiet conversations it provided. She loved picnics at Como Lake, visiting Lake Superior, working puzzles and crosswords, taking her grandchildren on Mississippi river cruises and just sharing time with her loved ones. ​​Her pearls of wisdom made us laugh and always fit the moment: love your children; and good things don’t just fall out of the mailbox, you have to work for them. In her last years, as her world got smaller and her memory worsened, her family and her faith kept her spirits positive. The last few days of her life, Mary was surrounded by family and found energy to exchange smiles and messages of love. As she faded, her family felt her love, and we could see she felt ours. The family thanks the caregivers at Katy's Cottage of Episcopal Home, Grace Hospice and Mary's special caregiver, Shelly Sawicki, for their help making Mary's years easier. Mary is survived by her three children; Wes Kramer (Deirdre), Leon Kramer (Susan), and Joan Tanck (Rudi). She is also survived by her sister, Laura Berglund (Don). Mary is survived by eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. They are Liz Kramer (husband Jeff Bryan, children Maria and David Bryan); Marian Kramer (partner Allyn Blind, children Henry and Jack Sampson); Paul Kramer (wife Kacey Kramer, daughter Esther Kramer); Mikaela Swanlund (husband Michael Swanlund, children Leo and Ansel Swanlund); Kevin Kramer (wife Emily Kramer); Brian Tanck (wife Micaiah Tanck, and daughter Sofia Tanck); Catherine Norris (husband Eric Norris); Susanna Tanck (partner Danny Tilton). Funeral service will be held on Thursday, March 10 at 11 am with visitation following at House of Hope Presbyterian Church, 797 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota (651) 227-6311. Interment at Union Cemetery, St. Paul. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Armed Forces Service Center () or House of Hope Presbyterian Church. Funeral service will be held on Thursday, March 10 at 11 am with visitation following at House of Hope Presbyterian Church, 797 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota (651) 227-6311. Interment at Union Cemetery, St. Paul. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Armed Forces Service Center (https://www.mnafsc.org/) or House of Hope Presbyterian Church.
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