Sterling-Ashton-Schwab-Witzke Funeral Home of Catonsville, Inc.
1630 Edmondson Ave
Catonsville, MD

Robert S. Kraemer died on August 20, 2013. He was beloved husband for 59 years to Anne LaVerne (Park) Kraemer; loving father to Kathryn (Terry) McCoy of Kensington, Joan (Rob) Compere of Ellicott City, Stephen of Athens, GA, Anita (Stephen Bowler) of Catonsville, Timothy of Germantown, and David (Theresa) of Catonsville; and proud grandfather of 11.  As Director of Planetary Exploration at NASA, Bob was instrumental in sending spacecraft to all eight planets of the Solar System. At the Rocketdyne division of North American Aviation in CA, he had a hand in designing every rocket engine that sent Americans into space until the Space Shuttle. He published two books: Rocketdyne: Powering Humans into Space, and Beyond the Moon: A Golden Age of Planetary Exploration 1971-1978. He earned the Distinguished Service Medal, NASA's highest honor. Bob was born on October 21, 1928 in Fullerton, CA, one of six children of Kathleen and Lawrence Kraemer. He graduated from Fullerton Union HS, earned a BS from the U of Notre Dame in 1950, and an MS from Caltech in 1951. He moved to Rockville in 1967, then to Annapolis in 1981, and to Catonsville in 2007. Bob was an avid sailor and loved to drive and work on classic sports cars.  The family will receive friends at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel, Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville, MD on Saturday, August 24 at 1 p.m., where a Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Loyola Jesuit Secondary School in Malawi, Africa (, the Planetary Society (, or a charity of your choice.  To leave condolences, please visit  

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Published by The Washington Post on Aug. 23, 2013.
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29 Entries
Dear Bob. Congratulations on your successful body of aerospace work that sent our Nation to the moon. Your former associate Lou Villegas from Canmoga Park now retied aerospace executive living in Dove Canyon, California 92679.
Lou Villegas
April 27, 2014
Aunt Anne and cousins.
I will miss Uncle Bob. He was always great to talk to and always showed interest in what "us kids" had going on. I loved his book and his dry sense of humor. He leaves a big hole to fill. Love you. Michele
Michele Tracy
September 3, 2013
Ann and family -- you know that Bob has been in my prayers and remembered at Mass. I am so glad I had the chance to pray with him when i visited in June. May Our Good Lord bless all of you very richly! Peace. Pete Henriot, S.J.
September 2, 2013
Ann and family, my condolences for your loss. I am thinking and praying for you. Bob may rest in peace.
Gerhard Schurer
August 31, 2013
My condolences for your loss. May you find comfort, from family, friends and the God of all comfort. "He is giving support to all who are falling and is raising up all who are bowed down" Psalm 145:14 He will sustain you until that day that he will swallow up death forever.
August 30, 2013
Bob was the best student in my Structures I class at Notre Dame. We connected briefly later in California but our careers never intersected again. I often thought of him and found his LA Times obituary highly interesting and impressive. I knew he was destined for an outstanding career. Please accept my condolences.
Edward Fleming
August 30, 2013
Anita and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Thinking and praying for you and your family during this difficult time. Your Dad was an amazing man.
Donna Hoyle
August 29, 2013
Bob has been a wonderful husband, father and brother-in-law. He will be long-remembered and respected by all who knew him. Our sincere condolences to Anne and the family. Bob will be missed.
Jeannine & Jim Park
August 28, 2013
Steve and family, I am sorry for your loss and wishing you peace at this difficult time.
Brenda Rashleigh
August 28, 2013
He certainly led a full and rich life, leaving the world having contributed so very much! My condolences to you all.

Brooke Randolph
Brooke Randolph
August 28, 2013
David, Theresa, Isaac & Benjamin,
We are so sorry for your loss, but grateful that you got some nice times with him. His was a life well-lived, that is such a blessing. Love, Ann, Gary, Elizabeth & Holden
Ann Kendell
August 26, 2013
Anne, our heartfelt condolences. Our family will keep you in our prayers. Bob made this big universe a little smaller through his work and his kindness. Happy sailing Bob and best wishes to your family.
Steve and Lara Schreck
August 25, 2013
Hope you can all celebrate the amazing life of Robert tomorrow. My family and I will say a few extra prayers for your family. Mike Morin
August 24, 2013
Dear Anne,
I am so very sorry to read of Bob's passing. It hardly seems that 40 years have gone by, but I remember working for Bob as if it were yesterday. He was a kind, fair, and even-tempered director, and everyone enjoyed working with and for him. He was instrumental in helping me advance my career, and I have never forgotten his support for a moment. I enjoyed seeing the two of you at the Annapolis Symphony in more recent years. Anne, Bob was not just an excellent manager, but also an exceptional man. My heartfelt sympathy to you and your family.
Danalee (Green) Henkart
August 24, 2013
Steve and family, I am so sorry for your loss. But what a wonderful life he led! I wish you peace in the sad days to come, and hope that your memories bring you all comfort.
Maura Mandyck
August 24, 2013
To the family of Mr. Kraemer, I worked for him as a secretary at GSFC in 1977-1978. He was encouraging, an interesting story teller, devoted to his family and had a remarkable memory. My prayers go to each and every one of his family and friends as you enter the grieving process.
Mary (Igal) now Endres from Greenville, NC
August 24, 2013
Aunt Anne and cousins, you are all in our thoughts and prayers. So sorry for the loss of such a great man. May he rest in peace in the company of his sisters. Love to all of you.
Jacque DeCoursey and Kevin Lane
August 24, 2013
We are so sorry but hope that the love we send you will help ease the pain and sadness of your loss.
Hilary, Gayle and Jay
August 23, 2013
Joan and Rob, we are so sorry to hear about your father's passing. Our thoughts are with you.

Harry, Anne, Sarah and Emily Zolkower
Harry & Anne Zolkower
August 23, 2013
"Dear Anne, and children, With great sadness I hear of Bob's passing. We send you our sincere condolences and hope you find comfort in having your children, grandchildren and many friends around for the funeral. I owe a very special year of my life to you and Bob!" Warmest, Stefanie with Kalle and Martin
Stefanie Schurer
August 23, 2013
I am so sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in knowing that God cares and keeps our loved ones safe in His memory (Luke 20:38) with a wonderful hope in mind.
August 23, 2013
Anita and Stephen, we are very sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Much love, Kristin, Will, Emma, Ben and Anna.
Kristin McNabb
August 23, 2013
David and Theresa,
We miss you guys so much, but are glad you were there for your dad this last month. You are a blessing to your whole family and the people around you. I am sure this is due in no small part to Robert. Tim and Geri, Platteville
August 23, 2013
Dear Anne, Very sorry to hear the passing away of Bob.To him I owe my entire carrier at Nasa Hdqrs. May his soul rest in Peace.
Ichtiaque Rasool
August 23, 2013
His was the worthy life, well lived. We wish your family peace and comfort during this time of loss.
Bob Ambrose and Kathy Hatcher, Athens, Georgia
August 22, 2013
Dear Anita. We are so sorry for your loss. Your Dad was a wonderful man with many marvelous works for our countries space program. Jim and I only met him at your wedding, but remember him well.
Our best to your Mother and siblings. Love, Jim and Carol
August 22, 2013
Anita and family -- My heartfelt condolences to you and your family at this sad time. He sounds like a wonderful man and an amazing scientist.
Shannon Sprague
August 22, 2013
Ours thoughts are with you and your family. John and Jessica
Jessica M. Fick
August 21, 2013
Dear Dave and Family:
We are so sorry for your loss. May his soul rest in peace.
Ravi and Usha
Ravi P.B. Ravikumar
August 21, 2013
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