Charles S. Cramer Sr., respected  leader

June 16, 2020

Beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, former Kennett Square Mayor, Charles S. Cramer Sr. passed from this earth Thursday, June 4, 2020, at the age of 94 after a brief illness.  He died quietly surrounded by family in his home in Lewes.  He will be remembered for his love of family, leadership, tireless spirit, positive attitude, kindness, champion against social injustice, humor and ability to befriend people of all cultures.

Charles was born in Kennett Square Aug. 20, 1925.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Fremont Carter and Mary Evelyn Cramer; and his brother Ernest Carter.  He is survived by his devoted wife of 65 years, Thelma Cramer; children Lynn Cramer of Wilmington, Charlotte Cramer of Wilmington, Norris Cramer of Wilmington  Matt (Chyrisse) Cramer of Upper Marlboro, Md.; 11 grandchildren: Andre (Brenda) Cramer of Newark, Kevin (Gwen) Cramer of Wilmington, Robert (Gina) Valentine of Riverside, Calif., Erin Cramer of Wilmington, Shirlene (Steve) Cramer-Cain of Suffolk, Va., Nicole Cramer of Wilmington, Kim Thomas of Wilmington,Ryan Cramer of Wilmington, Jaharie Cramer of Richmond, Va., Shon (Delvin) Price of Savannah, Ga., and Akeira Cramer of Upper Marlboro; daughters-in-law Yvonne Cramer and Pam Cramer; and many great-grandchildren, cousins, nephews and nieces.

He was preceded in death by son Charles “Toots” Cramer, son Dennis Cramer, son Robert “Bobby” Cramer, daughter Dorothy Ann Cramer, son John “Johnny” Cramer, grandson Dennis Cramer and great-grandson Jordan Collier.  

Charles spent his early years attending Kennett Consolidated High School, where he forged lifelong friendships and graduated in 1943. After graduating high school, he was drafted into the Army to serve in defending the United States in WWII. His tour of duty included the storming of Normandy Beach, active service in the Red Ball Express and the liberation of concentration camps in Germany. After completing his service, he met Catherine Sutton; they married and had three sons, Charles, Dennis and Robert. In 1955, he remarried Thelma C. Wilson from Unionville, Md.  After living together in Kennett Square for 40 years, they moved to Lewes, where they lived until his passing.

Charles was a well-respected and ambitious leader. He held many jobs ranging from long held positions at National Vulcanized Fibre and Kennett High School, always earning the respect of his peers. In 1994 he was elected to Mayor of Kennett Square.  He maintained the position until February 1999. As mayor he was able to fight against social injustice and worked toward the uplifting and betterment of all people within the Kennett community. Charles also enjoyed volunteering and participating in various social organizations. He served as head of the local chapter of the NAACP in Kennett Square, a volunteer at the Kennett Fire Department, as Delaware State Chaplain for AMVETS and an active member of the Israel A.M.E. Church, and former member at New Garden Memorial A.M.E Church. Charles was also instrumental in raising funds for homeless veterans, initiating Unity Day in Kennett Square, and fighting for the underprivileged. 

Charles’ greatest passion was for his family. Whether inviting family for holiday gatherings, mentoring family members, providing love and support to his grandchildren, fishing, camping, or attending family reunions, Charles was happiest when he was with his family.  Time spent together at family events will forever be cherished memories throughout the family. We are grateful for those memories, for his loving support, and for modeling a life of love, fellowship, commitment and service.

The family wishes to express deep gratitude to Bobby and Chris Bennett, the staff of Elderly Care Nurses and Delaware Hospice (Millsboro) nurses for their loving care and support, most especially, during Charles’ final days.

Memorial and Repass will be at AMVETs, 32592 Long Neck Road, Saturday, June 27, at 1 p.m. Burial will be at Union Hill Cemetery, Kennett Square at noon, July 11.

All those attending, remember to wear masks to the ceremonies.

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