Samuel J. Kramer

by | Aug 30, 2013 | Obituaries

Norfolk —Samuel J. Kramer passed away on August 14, 2013 at the age of 96.

He is the last of his generation of Kramers, his parents, Nathan and Mary Kramer having fled the pogroms of Russia to settle in Ithaca. He is predeceased by his wife, Anne G. Kramer, who passed away on August 11, 2006, and his five sisters, and by his son-in-law Jerry Lasker.

He is survived by his daughter, Michele Lasker of Tulsa, Okl., Jeffrey Kramer and wife Michele of Westmont, Ill., Kevin Kramer of Wilmington, Del., grandchildren, Joshua, Hannah, Stephen, Jason, Sarah, Jonathan and wife Carrie, Michael, and great grand-children, Maddie and Finn.

A native Ithacan, Sam graduated from Ithaca High School in 1934. He was captain of the Ithaca Cubs, an outstanding local team, with a batting average of .389. He attended the University of Alabama 1938–1940. Sam had the first Bar Mitzvah at Temple Beth El in 1929. He also is reputed to have eaten the first pizza served at Joe’s Restaurant. In the 1960s, he went into business as owner of Sam Kramer’s Auto Finishes. In 1980, he sold his store and retired to Virginia Beach.

Sam was a staff sergeant in World War II serving in Patton’s 3rd Army, seeing combat in France, Belgium, Germany, and Central Europe. He was awarded several medals including the Bronze Star, German Occupation Medal, French Normandy Certificate, and the Conspicuous Service medal. In 2009, his military service was honored by the French government at a ceremony at the French Embassy, where he was awarded the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, one of France’s highest decorations. Sam was a VFW member since 1960 and past commander of Jewish War Veterans Post 158, Norfolk, Va.

He was active in synagogue activities in Ithaca and Virginia Beach, an active member of B’nai Brith, charter member of Daniel Rothschild Lodge in Ithaca, and long time-editor for Brith Sholom’s newsletter in Virginia Beach. He was advisor to Alpha Epsilon Phi fraternity at Cornell University and a life-time member.

Donations to either the Jewish War Veterans Post #158, 420 Spotswoods Ave., Norfolk, VA 23517 or Shipley Manor Heath Center, 2723 Shipley Rd, Wilmington, Del. 19810. A graveside service was held at Lakeview Cemetery. Bangs Funeral Home.