Frederick John Cramer, 79, of Valparaiso, formerly of Illinois, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, July 5, 2023. He was born December 17, 1943, in Elmhurst, Illinois to Frederick F. & Bernice P. (Bartels) Cramer, graduated from Miami University in Ohio and received a master’s degree in business from Northern Illinois University, then served with the Illinois National Guard. Fred made his career for many years as a salesperson with McGrath Lexus.
Fred was one of two self-proclaimed most eligible bachelors of Elgin, Illinois, in the late ‘60s. Fred enjoyed talking about, reading about, and watching trains with his grandson, Nathan. All of his grandchildren enjoyed wrestling with “stinky armpit grandpa.” As a WW II buff, Fred enjoyed assembling model planes, tanks and ships commemorating the era to fill his home. Golfing in the warm months and watching college basketball and football in the cold months seemed to help him mark the seasons of the year. When he was allowed in the kitchen, he was always able to enhance what appeared to be perfectly good recipes with his “secret ingredients.” How many dishes could possibly be improved by adding raisins? But he was a natural salesman, and you couldn’t help but to be won over by his charm. He remained a Ferrari aficionado to the end. Despite being unable to fill his garage with the real deal, he chose to fill his basement with all of his dream models.
On August 3, 1986, he married Barbara Hoffmann, who survives along with his daughters, Jennifer (David) Tatosian of Algonquin, Illinois, and Mindy Cramer of Chicago; brother, William Cramer of Elgin, sister, Candy (Tim) Dicke of St. Marys, Ohio; grandchildren, Emily Tatosian-Cammuca, Nathan, Elizabeth, and Abigail Tatosian, and one great-granddaughter, Nola Tatosian. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Following cremation at Angelcrest Crematory a celebration of Fred’s life will be held on Sunday, July 30th from 3 – 6 pm at Byway Brewing Company, 2825 Carlson Dr., Hammond, Indiana (near Kennedy Ave. and I 80/94), with a prayer service at 4:00pm.
Fred will be sorely missed. One of the finest gentlemen I've had the pleasure of knowing. Always a wry smile for everyone. -Mike McCrery
Sorry to hear of the loss of our good friend and neighbor. Fred was always good for a chat from the balcony and for livening up the courtyard party with his fashion choices. We’ll remember him often. -Barb & Jack Maloy
Very sorry to hear of Fred’s passing. He was a very good man!! -Craig Conn
Dear Barb, Jennifer and Mindy, I am so sorry for your loss of your wonderful husband/Dad. A triumphant reunion is taking place in Heaven. Praise God for the long life of this wonderful man. Love, Kathy Goro Craparotta
Dear Barb, Jennifer and Mindy: We are so sorry to hear of Fred’s passing…..We have many fond memories of us being together! We go way back and when I think of Fred, it always a handsome man with a Great smile…So much fun and laughter we had together and remember the girls at Lance and Sue’s at the lake with their and our girls having so much fun!!! Those were wonderful times we will always remember We went on dive trips with Barb and Fred, which was a Blast on a sail boat for a week….Great Times and Memories….RIP DEAR FRIEND…..Love, -Roger and Joan Langford
Barb, sorry to hear of Freds passing. He was a great neighbor. I could always count on a friendly "Hi Mike" whenever I saw him. Wonderful job with the obit. It brought back some humorous memories. -Mike Czyszczewski
Our condolences to Barb, Jennifer, Mindy and extended family. I worked with Fred for many years at McGrath Lexus. We enjoyed many laughs and beers. Fred’s knowledge on many different subjects was amazing and made very interesting conversations. May Freddy rest in peace. -Bill and Annette Lawson
Our condolences to Barb and family. Fond memories of time spent having dinner or playing golf. Always enjoyed our conversations plus shared both Fred & Barbs choices in authors. He will be missed. So happy that we recently had opportunity to see both Barb & Fred. So sorry for your loss of a good man! -RoseMary Woodley & Frosty Botkin.
Fred and I were friends since grade school (McKinley) through high school. So sorry to hear of his passing. Fun and just a wonderful person. -Mary Schick Kenyon
Barb and Family—
It’s with a heavy heart that we read this obituary today. However, as we read through it many smiles came to mind and a lot of good memories for myself, Sam. I especially remember some difficult times for me where Fred was hospitable, asked good practical questions, and was never judgmental or condemning toward my decisions. He always brought a laugh and he was a true fighter to the end. Kirsten, Marie and myself had the blessing of visiting in fall of 2021 when he was doing much better and I’m glad we got to see him in a moment of victory! Now he is in the arms of the Savior where the greatest victory lies ahead! Unconditional love!! Our utmost regards and sympathies—Sam & Kirsten Tindall
Our deep sympathy to Barb and the rest of Fred’s family. Through the sadness, many thoughts of happy times were triggered. Karen Rocush mentioned thoughts of Mike and Fred playing golf in heaven together. Add Bob Cowdin and Mike Yagoda. Expanding on Karen’s thought, I once said a gold thread in life’s fabric were the Utah golf outings. All the newcomers were speechless when Fred pulled out the odd looking ( maybe one of a kind ) Power Pod on the first tee and actually hit it without the “Fred slice” in the fairway. The veterans and Fred, with his infectious laugh, roared and chanted Pod, Pod, Pod. So began another 18 in Park City. Of course, we each were the target of good natured ribbing about our golf quirks- hangover or not- ok, rarely not a hangover. A life, with Barb, very well lived and a highly respected and successful member of the McGrath Lexus family. -Cheryl and Roger Frandsen
Barb, so sorry to learn of Fred’s death. He always had a warm smile and cheerful greeting for everyone. He was a great listener, a fun story teller and a wonderful neighbor. Serving in the leadership position, Fred brought his experience, common sense, and impartial calm to our homeowners association. We’ve missed him since he and Barb moved from Illinois and will remember him fondly. -Shelley Cameron
This is the best tribute!!! Fred was such a stud! He was funny as can be and he let Mindy and I be the very obnoxious girls we were in our younger years! We’re probably still the same 35+ years later! Sending so much love to Barb, Jen and Mindy and the rest of the family as they mourn the loss of an amazing human. XO -Laura Thompson
Dear Barb, Jennifer and Mindy, Fred was such a great guy... a great husband, a great father and a great friend. We had so many good times together. I will always remember our golf trips... so many laughs and so much fun. I was so happy that Fred was able to make the trip to Florida last month and that I was able to spend time with him. Please know that I will miss him but the wonderful memories of him will forever be with me. Love, -Jane Antoinette Racek
I cannot properly express how sad I was when I heard of Fred’s passing. He was truly one of a kind - - one of the most pleasant, welcoming, funny, warm people I have ever met. Having you and Fred as neighbors was one of the highlights of living here, and you are still so deeply missed. Curt and I have been reminiscing the last couple of days - - about Fred's golf game (150 yards, no matter what club), his enthusiasm to mix a drink for Curt, his creation of 'The Kensington' for our first block party (and the way he dressed for it). He was always a pure joy to encounter. Our hearts go out to all he has left behind. I am sure you all have wonderful memories, and I hope those memories and the love of family and friends will help you during the difficult times. Love, -Joyce and Curt Carlson