Bernard Craig (Bernie) Kramer of Lopez Island passed away peacefully on Thursday, December 8, 2016 at the Whatcom Hospice House in Bellingham, Washington with his wife at his side, cradling him in her arms while he took his last breath, thus ending a year-long struggle with cancer. Bernie was born on March 22, 1940 in Minot, North Dakota to Virginia Ann (Braukman) Kramer and Henry Thaddeus Kramer.
After growing up in North Dakota, Bernie moved to Oregon where he attended nursing school and became a Licensed Practical Nurse. He was an assistant in research under Dr. Albert Starr, who developed the world’s first artificial heart valve. Then, Bernie shifted his career path into engineering at which he excelled. He worked for Tektronix and Xerox, where he assisted in the design andoperated, and maintained robots in their assembly line- a job he truly reveled in, saying that robots never talked back!
Bernie and his late wife, Diane, relocated to Lopez Island about 10 years ago, wanting to be closer to their son, Jason, and grandchildren. Since Bernie had a special talent to take any mechanical object or motor apart, repair it, and make it work like new, neighbors and friends in the community soon caught on. He spent his retirement years repairing any broken down machine that came his way, not charging a cent for his time and having a ball.
Bernie loved his family; he was gentle yet strong; he was generous with his time and money, industrious, conscientious, sympathetic, and kind; he had a joyful sense of humor, the most beautiful smile, and such a hearty laugh! Anything he did, he did well. All he needed to be happy was a good family and a John Deere tractor.
Bernie was united in marriage to Mireille on June 5, 2014 who was “the love of his life”. Bernie was preceded in death by his parents, Ann and Henry Kramer and by his late wife, Diane. He is survived by his wife, Mireille; his two daughters, Donna (Tod) Higinbotham and Eileen (Jim) Seely; and his son, Jason (Kim) Kramer, as well as ten grandchildren and 12 nieces and nephews. His five surviving siblings include: Donna (Norman) Brown, Jerry (Miki) Kramer, Betty (Pat) Kaufmann, Richard Kramer, and Bernadette Kramer.
Bernie, we shall always carry your contagious laughter in our hearts. You live on in the hearts of everyone you have touched while on your earthly journey. Rest in Peace.
A memorial service will be held at Center Church on Lopez Island, Washington at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that remembrances may be made to the Whatcom Hospice House, 2901 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham, WA 98225, where Bernie received excellent, loving care during his last 14 days; or to the Lutheran Church in the San Juans, PO Box 933, Lopez Island, WA 98261, where he was warmly welcomed into the family of faith.