Norman Franz Kramer(1930 - 2013)

Norman Franz Kramer departed this life on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013 at his home in Bethune. He was 82 years, 11 months and 17 days old.

He was born on Sept. 29, 1930 at the homestead north of Bethune.

He was the first born child and only son of William Kramer and Theresia Stahlecker Kramer.

Norman was raised on the family farm along with two sisters, Irene and Doris. Norman attended Prairie View School through the 8th grade. He then attended Bethune High School and graduated in May 1948 at the age of 17.

Norman was a longtime member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, north of Bethune where he was baptized and confirmed.

He always strived to live a life of service to others and be a model of his Christian faith.

Norman worked on the family farm for a few years following graduation. During those winters, he also worked on a ranch in the San Luis Valley with his favorite uncle, Andy Stahlecker. He learned to love the mountains and the uniqueness of the San Luis Valley.

Norman then entered the Army on July 15, 1953. His tour of duty included induction at Ft. Riley, Kan., basic training at Ft. Atterbury, Ind., followed by a transfer to Ft. Carson as well as a tour in Korea. He is a Korean War Veteran.

Norman married his wife, Betty Joan Lillich of St. Francis, Kan. on July 30, 1953.

They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in July 2013. To this union, four daughters were born; the first was stillborn and buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Bethune; the second Lillian Kathleen; the third Judith Yvonne; the fourth Pamela Jean.

Following his military service, Norman began his career as a professional truck driver which he enjoyed until his retirement in October 1989.

He loved the open road and getting to see the country side. He hauled a variety of loads, including grain, watermelons, cattle, and swine, but probably enjoyed the last 8 years the most.

He and wife, Betty, team drove together and specialized in oversized loads.

He started his next career, Norm's 36" Yard Service, in the spring of 1990. He loved running those Walker lawn mowers and visiting with all his customers. He enjoyed this until his retirement in 2011.

Norman was preceded in death by his parents, his in-laws, one sister-in-law, and two brothers-in-law and a stillborn baby daughter.

He leaves behind his wife, Betty, of Bethune, two sisters and one brother-in-law, Irene Hilt of St. Francis, Kan. and Doris Barchenger and husband, George, of Grand Junction; three daughters, Lillian Kathleen Jenkins and husband, Carl, of St. Francis, Kan.; Judith Yvonne Hadley and husband, John, of Missouri City, Texas; Pamela Jean Mills and husband, Tony, of Bethune.

He also leaves to mourn him, eight grandsons, Chad Jenkins and wife, Stephany of Johnstown; Brad Jenkins and wife Sara, of Johnstown;, Martin Jenkins and wife, Heather of Loveland; Nathan Jenkins and wife, Kimberly of Johnstown; Gery Whipple of Holyoke; Johnathan Whipple of Englewood; Cody Mills and wife, Cathy, of Greeley; Kelby Mills of Stratton. He was also survived by 16 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter and many relatives and friends. He will be greatly missed by all.

Funeral services for Norman were held on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 at 2 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church, North of Bethune, with Pastor Bill Viergutz officiating.

Burial followed in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery with Military Honors provided by the Stratton American Legion.

Visitation was held one hour prior to services at the church.

Memorials may be sent to The Bank of Burlington, 410 14th St., P.O. Box 419, Burlington, CO 80807 for Home Health and Caring Hands Hospice of Burlington, or Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery Board of Bethune.

Friends may go to to sign the family's online register book and to leave an online message of condolence.

Funeral services were entrusted to Love Funeral Home in Burlington.

Funeral Home

Love Funeral Home
377 15th Street Burlington, CO 80807
Published in The Burlington Record on Sept. 26, 2013