Ken Kramer passed away peacefully on the morning of June 12, 2014, with his family by his side.
What can you say about a sweet, loving, kind gentleman who exemplified the Greatest Generation? His smile lit up a room and his incredible sense of humor and quick wit kept his family and friends smiling and laughing until his final day.
Ken began his life in rural Pennsylvania as the youngest of three children born to Miles and Hilda Kramer on March 6, 1927.
Ken was a loyal patriot who served with distinction in both WWII and Korea as an enlisted member of the U.S. Navy. He was a Radio Gunner on the Grumman TBF Torpedo Dive Bomber, logging over 300 hours. Additionally, he worked extensively with the Grumman F8F Bearcat.
Following his naval service he completed A&E Mechanic school which led him to American Airlines as a Senior Flight Line Mechanic. While studying to be an A&E Mechanic, Ken met Mickey, with whom he eventually would share 42 years of marriage. They raised two daughters in a house filled with love and laughter. In 1958, he began his lengthy career at Rocketdyne where he worked on the Saturn, Apollo, and Space Shuttle Missions, receiving many accolades for his contributions to these worthy projects. In 1979, Ken became the Project Manager SSME Field Engineering & Logistics, a position he held until his retirement. Ken moved to Thousand Oaks in 1960 and lived in Ventura County for 54 years. In 1986, he became the devoted caregiver for his wife, Mickey, during her long illness.
Following her passing in 1991, Ken began a new chapter in his life. He became involved with the Camarillo Chapter of the Commemorative Air Force, as Crew Chief of their F8F-2 Bearcat, the crown jewel of many an airshow. This hobby quickly became his passion. It was during this time of his life that he met and married his loving wife, Mary. Ken and Mary were inseparable, traveling the world together during their 17 years of marriage. They especially enjoyed their trip, in January, to South Africa. Shortly after, Mary became Ken's devoted caregiver during his illness.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Hilda Mae (Remaley) Kramer and Miles Elwood Kramer, Sr.; wife, Mickey (Knittle) Kramer; brother, Miles E. Kramer, Jr.; sister, Dorothy M. (Kramer) Anders; brother-in-law, Woodrow H. Anders; and nephew, Miles E. Anders.
He is survived by his wife, Mary C. Kramer; daughters, Bonnie Heggen and Kathy (Kramer) Nilsen; sons-in-law, Tom Strasburger and Greg Nilsen; step-daughter, Kathleen Weber; step-son, Robert Weber and his wife Winnie; grandchildren, Stacie (Heggen) Hedley, Veronica (Heggen) Ebner, Dana (Heggen) Dickson, Robert Heggen and his wife Kim, Jamie (Heggen) Rennie and her husband Alan, Randi (Heggen) Stuart and her husband Tom, Shaylene Hawley, Shane Hawley, Bryce Weber, Lavinia Weber; 17 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Evelyn Kramer; and nephew, Woody J. Anders and his wife Linda.
There will be a celebration of Ken's life on Monday, June 30th at 11 a.m. at the Camarillo Airport, Commemorative Air Force hangar, followed by a fly over of his beloved Bearcat, from which his ashes will be scattered at sea.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a charitable contribution, in Ken's honor, to one of these fine organizations:~Our Community House of Hope, Thousand Oaks, CA (www.ourhouseofhope.org) ~Servants of Mary Ministers to the Sick, Oxnard, CA~CAF Commemorative Air Force Camarillo Chapter, Camarillo, CA~Volunteer Hospice of Camarillo, Camarillo, CA (www.camarillohospice.org)Condolences may be offered at www.PierceBrothersValleyOaks.com