John Cramer Obituary
 
In Memory of

John E. Cramer Sr.

July 13, 1919 - October 29, 2011
Obituary

Surrounded by his wife of sixty-three years and his loving family, John "Jack" Edwin Cramer Sr. died peacefully on October 29th, 2011, at his home in Boulder, Colorado. He was 92 years old. Born on July 13, 1919, and raised in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Jack was the eldest son of William and Josephine (nee Ivory) Cramer, and brother to Richard, William, and Rosemary. Jack attended St. Benedict's Cathedral School and Greensburg High School, graduating in 1937. A scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh allowed him to further his education, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. Jack enrolled in the Army Officer's Candidate...
Surrounded by his wife of sixty-three years and his loving family, John "Jack" Edwin Cramer Sr. died peacefully on October 29th, 2011, at his home in Boulder, Colorado. He was 92 years old.
Born on July 13, 1919, and raised in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Jack was the eldest son of William and Josephine (nee Ivory) Cramer, and brother to Richard, William, and Rosemary.
Jack attended St. Benedict's Cathedral School and Greensburg High School, graduating in 1937. A scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh allowed him to further his education, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. Jack enrolled in the Army Officer's Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and became a mortar platoon leader with the 8th Infantry Division. He was severely wounded in Normandy, France, where he received both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for valor. The years between 1944 and 1946 were spent recovering in a London hospital and later at Letterman General in San Francisco. Finally able to resume his academic goals, Jack re-entered the University of Pittsburgh where he completed his undergraduate degrees in economics and political science. He also earned a Masters in Political Science at Pittsburgh with additional course work at Georgetown University.
On June 5, 1948, Jack married Catherine "Kitty" H. McCloskey, formerly of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, in Greensburg, PA. They began a new life together, and Jack embarked upon his teaching career at Seton Hill College. Soon afterwards, however, he accepted a position with the CIA as an intelligence research officer from 1953 - 55, specializing in Soviet industry.
Academia was calling, though, so Jack and Kitty returned to Greensburg where Jack continued a life-long vocation as a professor of social sciences. He taught at Seton Hill College, Mount Mercy College in Pittsburgh (now Carlow University), and finally, St. Norbert College in DePere, Wisconsin, where he retired in 1984, professor emeritus. Soon after, Jack and Kitty moved to the Boulder area where several of his children were already living.
Jack loved to travel. In 1984 he and Kitty had the good fortune to travel abroad to Germany to visit their daughter, Mary Grace, who was living there at the time. In 1995 he and his son Paul, a Vietnam veteran, traveled to Normandy, and in 1998 he traveled to Italy with his daughter, Mary Jo. He enjoyed every moment of those trips.
In addition to travel, he happily pursued his hobbies of wood working, reading, and amateur farming. His interests were vast and his ability to invest weeks, months, and years on a single topic were well known. But in between sanding, reading and helping at a local farm, Jack played an active role in the lives of his children and grandchildren. Jack loved his wife, he loved his children, and he loved his grandchildren.
His philosophy of life and teaching was shaped, not only by his humble roots as the son of a self-taught railroad engineer and a mother who always welcomed the hungry to her table, but by the Great Depression. Jack's public service included roles as advisor to the Committee for the War on Poverty, consultant to the U.S. Steel Workers Union, and as an evaluator for the National Science Foundation. A passionate scholar, reader, and teacher, Jack was always surrounded by his library of books. He was ever searching for the truth, and always asked the hard and important questions. He never abandoned his principles. He knew that education was at the heart of transforming people and helping them to see their inherent worth and dignity.
Jack is survived by his wife, Catherine, and his children, Mary Grace, Mary Jo, Paul, and Mark, as well as grandchildren Patrick, Emily, Jane, Paul Connor, Sam, Alex, Megan, Matthew, Sarah, Leslie, Jessica, Andrew, Jacob, and Katie. He was preceded in death by his sons Francis and John Jr., and his daughter, Elizabeth.
His family extends a very sincere thank you to Dr. Paul Mackell for his decades of care and to Hospice of Boulder-Broomfield for their compassion and support. Funeral arrangements will be made by Crist Mortuary. A private celebration of his life will be enjoyed by his family.
Special thanks to the staff at Crist Mortuary.
Arrangements under the direction of Crist Mortuary, Boulder, CO.

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