Charles Henry (Hank) Cramer, age 90, passed peacefully at home on February 23, 2019 with son, Bill, and his cat, Baby, at his side. It was due to the 24/7 care given by Bill and Hank’s granddaughter Ashley, that he was able to be in his home until the time of his death.
Hank was born on November 11, 1928 in Helena to Egbert and Ida Cramer. His father died two months earlier in an accident on Green Meadow Ranch. He attended Bryant School and graduated from Helena High in 1948. On August 27, 1949 he married the love of his life, Betty Jean Schmidt. Betty passed away on March 11, 2014 having been married to Hank 64 years.
Hank entered the US Navy January 22, 1951 and served until December 27, 1954. He served as a Metalsmith Second Class in the Tacoma, Washington and San Diego shipyards and also aboard the USS Laertes AR-20 and USS Jason ARH-1.
Returning to Helena, Hank worked many mechanic and welding jobs. In 1960 he started Cramer Repair out of his shop at home, working on everything from small engines to D8 cats, and taking on any welding job, big or small, that came through the door. In 1967 he started his career as a welding instructor with the Helena Vo-Tech. In 1977, as a result of his efforts as a counselor, a teacher and a friend to his students in and out of the classroom, he was nominated for and received the Carroll College Community Appreciating Award. He retired from Vo-Tech in 1989 and then worked part-time at Caird Engineering and Fabrication for several years. In 2005 he began devoting all of his time to caring for his wife, Betty, until her death in 2014.
Hank was preceded in death by his parents and wife, Betty; brothers, John and Bert Cramer, Michael and David Colvin; sister, Violet Nick and grandson, William (Willie) Cramer.
He is survived by sons, Bob Cramer of Spokane, Washington and Bill Cramer of Helena; granddaughters, Hillary (Mickey) Ogg of Missoula, Ashley Cramer of Helena; great-grandchildren Emmett, Henry, Zander Ogg and Kylie Cramer; brothers, Tom (Margaret) Colvin, Gary (Shirley) Colvin; sisters Pat Read, Ethel Pengra; nephews, James “JR” Feucht of Helena, his wife, Clinda and daughter Mandi Fisher (Jordan), and Tom Carson (Vicki) of Tucson, Arizona.
The family wishes to thank all members of the St. Peter’s Hospice team that cared for Hank and extends a special thank you to Linda Robinson.
At Hank’s request, no services will be held. His ashes will be interred at the Montana Veterans Cemetery at Fort Harrison. In lieu of flowers, donations in Hank’s name can be made to the Lewis & Clark Humane Society, P.O. Box 4455, Helena, MT 59604. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or share a memory of Hank.