Marc Stephen Cramer
September 7, 1940-January 31, 2022
In 1962, A young Jewish man from Ellenville, New York joins the Air Force. He is stationed at
Malstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Montana. Later that year he meets a blond bombshell of
a Shiksa, washing her car along the Missouri River. Six weeks later they were married. And so,
begins the story of our parents. But this isn’t about our parents. This is about that Jewish boy
from Upstate New York who made a life in Montana.
Our dad often struggled to find his place in the world, much like Tevya in his all-time favorite
movie, Fiddler on the Roof. But out of that struggle, our dad developed a legacy that we are
proud to mantle. Pop, we gratefully and graciously accept the following riches you have left
Your faith and love for Yeshua. As part of your legacy, You and mom built the foundation upon
which we stand as a family. You showed us how to live, love, and serve. We continue your work
as the hands and feet of Love. As for our houses, we will serve the Lord.
Your love for our rich Jewish Heritage. Pop we know how deeply proud you were of your roots
and we consider it an honor to carry it on. Shalom.
מי ר וועל ן ז יך בע נקע ן
Your wild and wonderful imagination. You have always encouraged us to dream big and think
outside of the box. We remember as children, the neighborhood kids knocking on the door
asking if our dad could come out and play. Your childlike wonder made it easy for us to develop
our own wild imaginations.
Your sense of humor. Cramers are funny. We just are. Turns out all that dry sarcasm we ooze,
comes from you. Mykal used up all his dad jokes before he hit puberty, but J is one chuckle
away from a new comedic career. No one loves to laugh as much as we do and we have you to
thank for that.
Your love of music. We take away a robust introduction to a plethora of music. From Motown
and Jazz to folk music and musicals, from Belafonte and Barbara to the crooners and Calypso.
Your eyes would light up when you would regale us with your stories of NYC jazz clubs in the
60s. Your love for music is a passion we easily and enthusiastically embrace.
Your love for dancing. You loved to dance, we love to dance. You were the only one that was
good at it. The rest of us will have to continue dancing like no one is watching. We imagine how
thrilled you are to take mom for a spin around the dance floor once more.
Your love of the Nosh. Of any kind. Like you, your kids thoroughly enjoy a nosh and a nibble.
You fathered food adventurers and you were a good sport about trying anything we presented.
We will miss you side-eyeing our delectables, saying, “I’ll have some of that.” We will also miss
watching you eat your popcorn with a spoon, we googled it, some people just need to keep their
fingers clean, you were one of them. You can also be sure that Matzoh has made in to our
household staples. And never will we see another Good n Plenty and not think of you. We do,
however, have to flatly reject the snail’s pace at which enjoyed your noshing. Ain’t nobody got
time for that.
Your compassion. Remember when you used to cry when you had to spank us…telling us
through your tears, that it was hurting you more than it was hurting us? (J would like to
respectfully disagree. He is convinced it hurt him more, but don’t feel bad for him, he deserved
it.) We take away from you a deep well of sensitivity, compassion, and the core desire to be
kind to others.
Your attitude of gratitude. You always thanked mom for cooking or doing the laundry. You
never complained. Even in the end, you were always so grateful and kind to those who took
care of you. We honor you with hearts of gratitude in the footsteps of your example.
Your Love and affection. You were always so generous in your affection for us. You were never
afraid to hug or kiss us or tell us you loved us. Because of that, we do not hesitate to share
affection for one another or our kids. You showed us it was okay to be vulnerable. And your
devotion and faithfulness to our mother showed us the true meaning of love.
You will always be our Tevye, Pop. We raise a glass to you, (although we are going to have to
upgrade from Mogen David).
*To life, l’chaim!
L’chaim, l’chaim, to life!
A gift we seldom are wise enough
Ever to prize enough,
Drink l’chaim, to life!
Marc Cramer was preceded in death by the love of his life, our mother, Chuckie. He also leaves
behind three proud kids, seven loved grandchildren, a beloved brother and sister, a much-loved
brother-in-law (and sister-in-law), numerous extended family, and an abundance of dear
*From Fiddler on the Roof, written by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick