DONALD "DONNIE" CRAMER
April 17, 1937 ~ February 12, 2013
Donald D. Cramer, 75, a lifelong resident of Vancouver, WA, passed away February 12, 2013 in Palm Springs, CA with his wife of 53 years and his children by his side. Don was born on April 17, 1937 to Annie and Alfred Cramer, the fifth of six children, a premature baby, though you would never know it by his larger than life personality. He graduated from Battle Ground High School in 1955.
On June 2, 1959 he married his true love and partner in life, Sally. They started their family and successful construction business soon after, Don Cramer Construction and Don Cramer Enterprise, locally building residential and developing commercial properties.
Don served 12 years in the Camas National Guard.
Don was a member of the Slo Pok Car Club, one of the 26 original members. He had a passion for all things car, from the brand new to the hot rods and the classics. His collections over the years were well known. He loved going fast, whether it be on land, snow or water and modified most of his own motors to get that speed. He served on the state board of the Washington State Snowmobile Association. He was an avid snowmobiler, enjoyed many drag racing and hill climbing events. He loved sports, especially football. A Seahawks fan, he also enjoyed following his kids college teams, Washington State and Oregon State. He was very proud to have two Cougars and a Beaver.
Don was a family man, he introduced his kids to many different adventures from snowmobiling, motor cycle riding, boating, water skiing, fishing, scuba diving, hunting, camping, RVing, and later in life, golfing. He so enjoyed drag racing in Oregon and Washington with his son Jeff, spending time with the Quarter Horse Association, going to the world championship twice in Tulsa, OK to watch his daughter Cristi ride, and traveled to multiple states for daughter Cori's many years in competitive gymnastics. There was always somewhere to go and something to do on weekends. The family has fond memories spending time at the cabin he built from scrap at Swift Creek in Cougar, WA and the annual family trip to Shasta Lake, CA. Many of his favorite activities are still enjoyed by his kids and their families today, he taught them well and passed on his love of life, and family.
Don and Sally enjoyed traveling, mostly to sunny, relaxing destinations. RVing became a hobby they took up more recently and discovered wonderful local NW areas and Canada with their friends. They discovered Palm Springs several years ago and began living there part time, trying to be semi-retired.
They are members of Royal Oaks Country Club in Vancouver, WA and Desert Falls Country Club in Palm Desert, CA where they shared their love of the game of golf. He enjoyed many rounds with his buddies "The Skunks".
Don is survived by his wife, Sally; son, Jeff Cramer; and daughters, Cristi (Mike) DeFrees and Cori (Skeet) Amstad. He especially enjoyed seeing his four grandsons grow into young men with bright futures, Christian Cramer, Max DeFrees, Luke and Zach Amstad.
Donations can be made to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center Foundation.
A Celebration of Life is planned for this summer, the 4th of July in Don's honor at the home of Cristi and Mike DeFrees, 14657 SE Rivershore Drive in Vancouver, WA. Details to follow closer to date.
Please sign his guest book at www.columbian.com/obits
Published in The Columbian on Feb. 24, 2013