Charles George Kramer, M.D., 87, of Lake City, Minn., formerly of Midland, passed away at the Mayo Care Center in Lake City, Minn. on July 9, 2013.
He is survived by his loving wife of 23 years, Onalee of Lake City, Minn.; and is lovingly remembered by his son, Charles (Sue) Kramer, of Enumclaw, Wash.; his daughters, Peggy (Don) Cook of Alexandria, Va., Mary Beth (Tim) Brewer of Mesa, Ariz., and Trish (Brad) Martin of Midland; his stepson, Rick (Roxy) O'Hearn of Duluth, Minn.; and his stepdaughter, Carrie Johannes of Silver City, N.M.. He will be missed by his 12 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren, all of whom brought him great joy. He is also survived by the mother of his children, Elsa Yakel, of Midland; by his brother, Hugh (Marsha) Kramer of Austin, Texas; and by several nieces and nephews.
Dr. Kramer was born to missionary parents in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala on Oct. 19, 1925. He attended Columbia University, then joined the U.S. Navy
and graduated from The University of Michigan
Medical School. Following his graduation from medical school, the Navy loaned him to the Army where he earned a Bronze Star
while serving on the front lines during the Korean War
. Following his military service, he worked as a physician for Kaiser Motors, then General Motors. In 1959 he joined The Dow Chemical Company where he worked for 21 years in the Medical Department.
In 1980 he retired from Dow and went into private practice. Soon thereafter he joined the Indian Health Service, where he found his true calling. He spent the majority of his 25 years with the IHS in South Dakota, serving the people of the Lakota tribe of the Sioux Nation. During that time he developed an enduring appreciation for the Sioux people and their culture. He was known for his deep sense of social justice, as demonstrated through the compassionate care he gave each of his patients through every stage of his medical career. In 2009, Dr. Kramer was honored with a University of Michigan Medical School Emeritus Medallion. The medallion was in recognition of his more than 50 years of service to medicine. Dr. Kramer was a member of the First Congregational Church of Lake City. While in Midland, he was a charter member of Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church.
Dr. Kramer was known for his relentless pursuit of learning and his intellectual curiosity which resulted in a wide range of interests and hobbies that included classical music, audio systems, computers, camping, cooking, fishing, sailing, and projects such as building a Bradley GT, boatbuilding, and setting up his own photo development darkroom. In his later years he enjoyed traveling across the U.S. and Canada (including a memorable trip to Alaska) with Onalee in their motor home.
Dr. Kramer asked that those who knew him remember him in his or her own way. Because Dr. Kramer elected to participate in the Mayo Clinic's anatomical bequest program, no formal visitation or services will be held at this time. Cremation and interment will take place at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the Mayo Clinic, Department of Development, 200 First St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905.