Lawrence J. Kramer

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Obituary


KRAMER,
Lawrence J.

Entered into rest February 6, 2011 at the age of 74, while surrounded by his family. He had been living in his hometown of Ritzville, WA. Lawrence "Larry" was born June 4, 1936 to Peter J. and Ella Kramer (Lindeman) in Spokane. He grew up farming with his father on the family's farm where he
enjoyed riding his horse, Nugget. Prior to Larry's graduation from high school, he joined the Air National Guard Reserves and served for eight years, obtaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. In 1955, Larry graduated from Ritzville High School where he had served as senior class president. Following graduation, he started driving school bus for the Ritzville School District, under the supervision of Rudy Koch. Larry had many fond memories of his various bus trips and the kids on his routes. In 1956, Larry married his high school sweetheart, Dora L. Stratton. They made their home in Ritzville. Larry was an active member of the Ritzville Jaycees. In the early 1960's, he became a licensed insurance agent and started his own insurance agency. Larry was a Ritzville City Council Member and later became a Ritzville City Mayor. He enjoyed being a part of the community. In 1982, Larry retired from his insurance agency and decided to spend more time farming. However, his interest in politics led him to later serve as an Adams County Commissioner for District 1. Since 1992, he and Dora have owned and operated the New Ritz Theatre in Ritzville. Before losing his sight, Larry loved going to a good movie, and his laughter could often be heard throughout the theatre. Larry enjoyed traveling and spending quality time with his family. Music was also a very important part of his life. He enjoyed taking his family to concerts, including those of Chet Atkins, Peter, Paul & Mary, Irish Rovers, BB King, Roy Clark, Willie Nelson and more. He was also a member of the Spokane Folklore Society and attended many of their concerts. As a hobby, Larry collected and played numerous banjos and guitars. Hoffman Music in Spokane was a regular stop for Larry. In 2004, Larry was forced to retire from farming due to health issues. This was a very difficult time in his life. Farming was something he had done since he was a young man. He took pride in his work and passed that pride onto his family. Together, with his wife and daughters, they brought in the harvest every year. After retiring, he leased his farm land out to a family friend, but continued to visit the farm until it was no longer possible. At that time, his granddaughters would bring him samples of the ripe wheat to touch and hold. Larry was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Nancy Elin, and both of his parents. Surviving are his wife of 54 years, Dora Kramer, daughters: Donna Kessler (Scott) and Janna Gingrich (Bo), granddaughters: Mallory and Claire Kessler and Katheran Gingrich, all of Ritzville; half-sister Edna Thomas of Spokane Valley, sister-in-law Alberta Baker of Sequim, nephews: Terry Stratton of Mead, Russell Dunn of Snoqualmie, Luke Dunn of Walla Walla, Lyle Craner of Mt. Vernon, nieces: Barbara Nichols of Louisiana, Penny Doyle of Everett, Joy Sampaga, of Hawaii, Caryl Benner of Everson, Lyla Bailey of Marysville, and numerous great nieces and nephews. Visitation will be Thursday, February 10, 2011 from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Danekas Funeral Home-Ritzville. Funeral Services will be held Friday, February 11, 2011 at 11:00 AM at the Emanuel Lutheran Church in Ritzville with vault interment following at Emanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Ritzville. Memorials are suggested to Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Ritzville or Ritzville High School Music Department. Condolences may be left at www.danekasfuneralhome.org. Larry's wife and daughters wish to thank all of their family and friends for the support and wonderful memories they gave Larry over the years.

Published in Spokesman-Review from Feb. 9 to Feb. 10, 2011
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