Megan Jennifer Cramer
Megan Jennifer Cramer—a poet, writer, former attorney, social activist, and server—died February 19, 2013 in the gas explosion that destroyed JJ's Restaurant on the Plaza at Kansas City, MO. Megan was born on June 21, 1966, in Emporia, KS, three months before her family moved to Springfield, MO, where they still reside. Megan attended Delaware and Rountree Elementary Schools, Jarrett Junior High, and graduated from Parkview High School in Springfield and UMKC as an undergraduate. During her undergraduate years, she helped found the first chapter of the UMKC Lesbian and Gay Student Group. She also worked as a server first at the original Harry Starker's and then at Houlihan's Restaurant. Next, she entered and graduated from the UMKC School of Law. While a law student, she belonged to the UMKC chapter of the National Lawyer's Guild and worked three summers at the Missouri Capital Punishment Resource Center to prepare appeals for prisoners on death row at Potosi Penitentiary.
Megan resided in Kansas City for the last 26 years, mostly living just off the Plaza. After practicing law for a few years in Kansas City, she returned to her first love of working with people as a server, first at the Melting Pot and then at JJ's Italian Restaurant both on the Plaza. Her sweet smile and kind heart made her treasured by so many with whom she interacted. Megan loved people, books, films, writing, laughing, dancing, painting, reading, and her white 1984 Oldsmobile cutlass supreme convertible, named Consuela, which she drove until her father deemed it unsafe at any speed. She delighted in summer poetry and writing workshops at the Provincetown Fine Arts Center, Provincetown, MA, which the whole family attended for several years.
She is survived by her parents, Carter and Genny Cramer and by her sister, Stephanie Cramer, and her niece, August McGrail, all of Springfield, MO; as well as her cousins, Leslie and Jim Baird, Cody Cramer, Steve and Eileen Cramer, Beth and Terry Cumins, Brian Hartman, Robert and Staci Hartman, Melissa and Jon Ghan, Angela and Bret Gray, and Kurt Rummell; as well as her aunts and uncles, Mark Cramer, Ruth Cramer, Ruth Hartman, Charlie and Lana Rummell; and other extended family members and friends, including Douglas Peoples, Martin Diggs, Aimee Duke, Lisa and Kevin Fossland, Sara Payne, Steffany Payne, Cat Running Elk, and Megan's closest friend, Sheri Phillips, and Sheri's husband Jim and daughters Kylie and Taylor, plus other friends and family too numerous to mention here.
A Celebration of Megan's life will be held Thursday, March 7th at 1 p.m. at National Avenue Christian Church at 1515 S. National, Springfield, 65804. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to
or to the Megan Cramer Memorial Fund c/o The Community Foundation of the Ozarks, P.O. Box 8960 Springfield, MO 65801 or on line at Cfozarks.org/donate