Mary Jane Kramer was born on June 23, 1936, in Parrish, to George and Freda Fralick. She died peacefully at Aspirus St. Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander on Sept. 28, 2021 at the age of 85 with family by her side. Mary will be remembered as a woman who loved family and friends, had a generous heart, a gift of hospitality and great faith in God.
She married Dennis Kramer on April 15, 1954. They moved to California in 1958 where they raised their five sons: Dennis, Steve, Randal, Terry and Ronald. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on the Queen Mary ship in Long Beach, Calif.
After her husband's death in 2005, Mary continued living in California until she moved to Oregon for a few years. She then moved to Rhinelander in 2017 where she lived within a 60-mile radius of all her siblings and other family members.
Mary was a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, and homemaker. She was a longtime, active member of the Arcadia Foursquare Church in California, and particularly enjoyed being in the choir. When Billy Graham Crusades came to Los Angeles, their church choir joined others for a massive volunteer choir. Her favorite song they sang was "He Touched Me." She and her husband hosted youth events at their home and coordinated an annual event of taking a group to the Rose Bowl Parade.
She was a hard worker all her life, and was employed at Household Finance and Driftwood Dairy. She shared her gift of hospitality by hosting parties, welcoming family members and overnight visitors. The family enjoyed playing card games, camping, volleyball, watching hummingbirds and making trips to Wisconsin most summers to be with their families. Mary had a sharp mind, sense of humor, and an avid interest in the news. She was a very refined woman, and believed in following the proper rules of etiquette. Even if she thanked someone in person, they would receive a handwritten thank you note within two weeks.
Mary was an excellent baker and cook and enjoyed having people for holiday festivities. Family and friends looked forward to receiving her famous homemade peanut brittle at Christmastime. She created beautiful artwork in the form of needlepoint pictures, so detailed that they look like a painting. Her framed work graces the walls of her home, and many were gifted to family and friends. Some of her pieces were completed after she lost the sight in one eye and was declared legally blind.
Her favorite flower is the rose. A lesson can be learned from the rose; it stands on thorns at every stage of its life, from bud to bloom, yet it can spread joy. It reminds us that no matter what may go on in our lives, no matter how thorny some seasons may be, we can still spread joy. A pink rose is considered the gentlest of all roses, and represents elegance, admiration, femininity, refinement, sweetness and peace. To all who loved her, this is a description of Mary, and we know that even when she was getting prodded with thorns in life, she was still a gentle person and spread joy.
Preceded in death by her parents George and Freda Fralick; husband Dennis Kramer in 2005; sons Dennis Kramer and Steve Kramer; daughter-in-law Ann Kramer, sister June Hochstetler and brother-in-law Roy Hochstetler.
Survived by three sons: Randal Kramer and Ronald Kramer of Rhinelander, Terry (Cindy) Kramer of San Bernardino, Calif.; daughter-in-law Peggy Kramer, daughter-in-law Debbie Kramer.
Survived by 40 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Survived by siblings: Leonard (Muriel) Fralick, Carol (Jim) Roberts, Helen (Dennis) Nordquist, Douglas Fralick, Gary (Melanie) Fralick.
Survived by many nieces, nephews, family members and friends.
A Celebration of Mary's life will be held today, Tuesday, October 5, 2021, at Hildebrand Funeral Home, 24 East Davenport Street, Rhinelander, WI. The gathering will begin at 10:30 a.m., service at 11 a.m. and lunch following in the Hildebrand banquet room.
There will be a memorial service in Monrovia, Calif. at a later date with burial at Live Oak Mortuary and Memorial Park in Monrovia, where she will be laid to rest by her beloved husband.
We are the keepers of Mary's memories; it is a sacred trust given by one who has journeyed on where her faith is now sight. A Scripture verse that Mary stood on in her lifetime is: 2 Timothy 4:17 "The Lord stood with me and gave me strength."
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501, 715-365-4343. Everyone is invited to sign the guestbook or leave an online condolence at www.hildebrandrussfh.com.
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