Monday, March 3rd, 2014
Fr. William Kramer
Fr. William Kramer, C.PP.S., 94, died at 6 a.m. March 2, 2014, at Mercer County Community Hospital, Coldwater. He had been in failing health.
A professor emeritus of chemistry from Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind., Fr. Kramer made his home at St. Charles Center in Carthagena.
He was born Oct. 13, 1919, in Coldwater, to Jacob and Theresa Gels Kramer. He entered the Society in 1933 and was ordained on Dec. 10, 1944. Fr. Kramer was in education ministry for most of his life.
After his ordination, Fr. Kramer served as an assistant pastor at St. Mary Church in Centerville, Iowa. From 1945 to 1946 he taught at Brunnerdale, the Society's high school seminary in Canton. He then studied chemistry in Switzerland, learning the language while he earned a doctoral degree. He returned to the U.S. in 1953 and became an instructor at Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind., where he remained for the rest of his academic career. He was also an associate editor of Philosophy Today. He retired to St. Charles in 2000. He was the first person from Coldwater to be ordained a priest.
Survivors include his sister, Rita Gustin, Dayton; a brother-in-law, Lester Brandewie, Celina; and numerous nieces and nephews; and great- and great-great-nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by three sisters, Marie (Edward) Kennedy, Sr. Mary Ruth Kramer, OLVM, and Dorothy Brandewie, and a brother, Arnold (Ruth) Kramer.
Fr. Kramer was a man of many gifts, "a Renaissance man," said Fr. Timothy McFarland, C.PP.S., who taught with Fr. Kramer at Saint Joseph's.
"He was a chemist by training but was good at so many things, especially music. He taught himself to build and tune organs, and with Fr. Larry Heiman, C.PP.S., reconstructed the organ at the college. They also directed the installation of the (now historic) Holtkamp organ at St. Charles Center. He was always taking on different projects here at the college, from constructing the pipe organ to painting the clock face high in the chapel tower," noted Fr. McFarland.
He took on academic projects as well and helped the college establish its renowned Core academic program.
"He was a quiet, humble man, and he was very dedicated to the college and to the C.PP.S. He did whatever he could to make each better," added Fr. McFarland.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be 2 p.m. Thursday at St. Charles Center, the Rev. Larry Hemmelgarn presiding. Burial will follow in the community cemetery.
Calling is 1-5 and 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at St. Charles with a prayer service at 7 p.m.
Memorial donations may be made to the Missionaries of the Precious Blood.
Hogenkamp Funeral Home, St. Henry, is handling the arrangements.