Merla Lew Kramer

October 18, 1942June 10, 2019

Merla Lew Kramer Born: October 18, 1942 Died: June 10, 2019

Merla Lew Riddle was born on October 18, 1942 in Mt. Pleasant, Texas. She grew up all things Mt. Pleasant and East Texas and was the Drum Major of the Mt. Pleasant Fighting Tiger Band. She went on to the University of Texas and became a diehard Longhorn. Upon her graduation, she accepted a job in Baytown, Texas at Horace Mann Junior High School. It was in Baytown that she found her passion for teaching and also found her true love, Ron Kramer and all things Gander. Merla and Ron (who preceded her in death) were lifelong educators in Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District. Merla taught at Horace Mann Junior High, Robert E. Lee High School, and Goose Creek Memorial High School. Her area of focus was English, from a subject matter perspective, but her specialization was in getting her students to push themselves beyond the literal and into the interpretative value of any piece of literature. This was her true gift . . . and no doubt, her favorite piece to teach was To Kill A Mockingbird. The lessons learned related to life and understanding from this book and her will to teach this to her students is her true legacy as a teacher. No doubt, she saw pieces of Atticus Finch, Scout, Jem, and Boo Radley in all of her students and colleagues. Merla was just as much the leader of the Gander Coaches Wives. She was the consummate Gander fan and loved and supported all of her fellow coaches wives. She supported not only the wives, but she was a faithful supporter of their children. In all ways, she was “Mother Goose.” Even after her retirement, Merla continued to “teach.” She would speak with friends and colleagues on a daily basis and would continuously ask questions, suggest options for critical assessment, and was always available to help with improving educational opportunities for students. Merla was preceded in death by her parents, Lewis and Merle (Greathouse) Riddle and her husband, Ron Kramer. She is survived by her two sons, Kyle and his wife Jane and Scott and his wife Claire. She is also survived by her two grandchildren, Olivia and Philip. She is also survived by her cousin Ann Swann and her nieces, Kay Smith and Lou Ann Martin, and her nephew, Mark Kramer. In addition, she is survived by the remaining Gander Coaches Wives family – Linda Bosse, Billie Thompson, Paula Groberg, Laura Kellner, Shirley Wright, Annabeth Herrington and so many others. Services to celebrate Merla’s life will be held at Memorial Baptist Church in Baytown on Friday, June 14. Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. and services will begin at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the GCCISD Education Foundation (GCCISD Education Foundation, P.O. Box 8081, Baytown, TX 77522) in support of childhood education and literacy or to the charity of your choosing.


  • Lewis and Merle (Greathouse) Riddle, Parents Deceased
  • Ron Kramer, Husband Deceased
  • Kyle and his wife Jane and Scott and his wife Claire, Sons
  • Olivia and Philip, Grandchildren
  • Ann Swann, Cousin
  • Kay Smith and Lou Ann Martin, Nieces
  • Mark Kramer, Nephew
  • Linda Bosse, Billie Thompson, Paula Groberg, Laura Kellner, Shirley Wright, Annabeth Herrington and so many others, Gander Coaches Wives family


  • Visitation Friday, June 14, 2019
  • Funeral Service Friday, June 14, 2019


Merla Lew Kramer

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Teresa Alaniz-Leon

June 16, 2019

I had Mrs. Kramer for 3 yrs of Sophmore English. She didn't give up on me even when I wanted to. She pushed me to my limits because she always told me that she saw all my potential. She will always be one of my favorites!!

Debbi Corley

June 15, 2019

I have fond memories of Mrs. Kramer from Horace Mann, she was a beautiful person inside and out. May God Bless and comfort your family.

Carie Ripley-Wells

June 13, 2019

I met Merla (Mrs. Kramer) when our families became friends and formed the 4x4 gang! I was probably around 10 years old. Our families vacationed together for many years, mostly New Braunfels but a few other places too. When I needed help with some projects in college, creating a lesson plan, a bulletin board, or just suggestions, Merla was more than willing to help. She was an amazing person and we are all better for having had her in our lives.

Paula Groberg

June 12, 2019

Merla was the first person I met when Bill and I, a young couple from Houston, moved to Baytown in 1968, Mother Goose taught me so much about the Ganders, what to expect as a coach’s wife and introduced me the community that I grew to call my hometown over the next fifty years. I will always love her for taking me under her wings!

Don Newsom

June 12, 2019

Merla Lew and I started to school together at Old Union in the first grade. The next year she went to West Ward in Mt. Pleasant. When my family moved to town we did not live far from each other and went to school together for the rest of our careers. She was a great friend. That friendship has continued through the years. She was a special person and will be missed. The Lord’s family got better with her arrival.

Cathy Paker

June 12, 2019

You were a wonderful teacher. You were my Sunday school teacher and taught me in Jr high and at Lee. You were a lady full of joy. You will be missed. Fly high..