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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Donald John Kramer, 91, of Whitesville, NY

Donald John Kramer, 91, of Whitesville, NY, passed away on February 23, 2015 after a short illness. 

WWII Veteran
He was born on July 27, 1923, in Johnsonburg, Pa., to Samuel and Amelia Kramer. 

Don was a graduate of Olean High School, 1942 and enlisted in the US Army in 1943. He served in the 819th Engineer Aviation Battalion in Europe during WWII and received an honorable discharge in November 1945. 

He joined his brother Frank and together they owned and operated an appliance store and dry cleaning business in Olean. He married Roberta Kear Kramer on October 11, 1947, and they were able to have 67 years together in Whitesville. Don opened the DJ Kramer Jewelry and Appliance Store that he and his wife operated for 12 years and he also started the Donald J. Kramer Insurance business in 1952, which he operated out of his home until he sold it to Brown and Stout in 1989. He built the building and opened his Arctic Cat snowmobile business in 1970 which stayed in operation until 1985. The "Cat House" is the current location of the Independence Town Hall. 

Throughout this time period Don drove school bus for Whitesville Central School for 31 years, transporting many families from the hills of West Union into town. Don was an active member of the WCS "school family" by driving the basketball bus to away games, keeping score at away games and keeping the home clock for 51 years. Don spent many hours coaching Little League for Whitesville youth. He was a recipient of the "Whitesville Citizen fo the Year" award.

Don served as an Allegany County Legislator from 1973-1989. During his last term of office he was Chairman of the Public Works Committee and the President of the Board of Health. Throughout his 16 year political career he served on almost every committee in Belmont.

Don was very civic minded. He maintained memberships in the Whitesville Fire Department and The Whitesville American Legion. He also served as a charter member of the Independence Emergency Squad. He was a member of the St. John of the Cross Catholic Church in Whitesville until its closing and then became a member of the Sacred Heart Church in Genesee, Pa. He loved carpentry and spent many hours with building projects. He was a "Jack of All Trades." He enjoyed bowling, pitching horseshoes, water skiing, reading, cooking and spending time with his family and friends. He was an avid builder and flyer of model airplanes.Don was highly respected for his knowledge and many people went to him for his advice.

He is survived by his wife Puddy, daughter, Kay (Steve), granddaughter, Kristin Kazmirski (James) of Syracuse, and great-grandson, Jace Patrick, and his beloved dog, Mia, and many nieces and nephews. We would also like to mention a special caretaker, nurse and friend, Cheryl Richardson. 

Don was predeceased by one brother, Frank and four sisters, Grace, Helen, Betty and Margaret.

Friends may call Friday (Feb. 27, 2015) from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at Howard's Funeral home, 931 Maple Avenue, Whitesville, N.Y. A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday (Feb. 28, 2015) at the Sacred Heart Church, 236 Main Street, Genesee, Pa., officiated by Father Joe Dougherty. Burial will be in the Whitesville Rural Cemetery at the convenience of the family. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Whitesville Fire Department, The Independence Emergency Squad, the Whitesville Library, or the Sacred Heart Church, Genesee, Pa. 

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