C. Russell Cramer
March 9, 1948 – June 25, 2019
C. Russell Cramer was born on March 9, 1948 in Dell Rapids SD he was the oldest child of Clark Daniel and Almeda May (Rumley) Cramer. He graduated from Brandon Valley High School in 1966 then attended SD School of Mines before joining the Air Force on April 1, 1968. Russ started his Air Force career on April 1, 1968. He was a Ground Radio Communications Equipment Repair Specialist while on Active Duty. When he was overseas he kept Communications going in many capacities. His first TBI happenned when trying to secure equipment on a tower. He had all the safety rigging on, the person on the ground who was to keep the slack out of the rigging didn’t. This was in a typhoon. Russ came off the tower, was slammed into the tower at least three times on the way down. He woke up several days later in a US Hospital on Okinawa. After returning to the states he was assigned to a special duty tour at the LBJ Ranch near Austin, TX. Russ and the AF communications crew, where at the ranch, whenever the president or his families were in resident. He met the president on several occasions. LBJ would drive out in a ranch truck or ride a horse out to the “Comm shack” to be able to safely visit with regular people. He also personally delivered any food or drink that was left from entertaining for the troops on duty to enjoy. His last duty assignment was at Grand Forks, ND. The only thing that I remember him talking about from this tour was how sad it was to see so many farms go under. The many auction sales and the treasures he found at the sales. He separated from the AF after serving 8 years on March 31, 1976. He moved his family back to Sioux Falls, SD where they rented, the first house his parents built. The same house he grew up in. Working for Warren Supply when he returned to SD, until just a few months before moving to CO. He started pulling wires for…. (You’re dating yourself if you remember Muzak) for the companies commercial accounts. Russ advanced within the company. By developing and managing the Satellite Division. When we left the company we were an equal size as EchoStar. Charlie Ergen’s satellite company that later became Dish Network. I knew Russ from the SD Air National Guard he had joined on May 16, 1981. I had just completed the AF Fundamental Electronics course and Avionics training. Russ hired me at Warren Supply to do bench work doing warrantee repairs on satellite radios. Then as the division grew I started to order parts and equipment then l started to coordinate all the shipping logistics. Next I started a national sales department selling entire truckloads of satellite systems to several accounts. That increased buying power is what gave Russ’ division the volume to compete on a level ground with EchoStar. Charlie made us a great offer to work at EchoStar when we moved here. I had already been hired at the CO Air National Guard as an Avionics technician. Russ decided to pursue full time work at the base too. Russ was united in marriage to Cynthia (Cindy) Marie Johnson on Feb 2, 1985 in Central City, CO. Yes on Ground Hogs day. There would never be an excuse to forget our anniversary. We spent all of our married life living in Larkspur CO. First living in a mobile home to save, then later, together physically built their dream log home. He transferred to the CO Air National Guard November 1984 where he served in several capacities. He started out in a civil service position with the 139 Tactical Control Flight later taking an Active Duty Position with the 139th working in Ground Radio Communications Equipment Repair, the unit converted to the 227th Air Traffic Control Flight where he worked in Satellite Communications Repair, 154th Tactical Control Group he went to Logistics Plans School. Then finishing his career working at AF Space Command he held a Space System Operator specialty code but never worked in that capacity he was part of a transition team. While in this position, Active Duty space missions were studied and when possible transferred to the Air National Guard where in most cases the mission could be maintained at a lower operating cost. Russ was always up for an adventure. He deployed often to some amazing places after joining the COANG. Places that come to mind are Honduras, Dominican Republic on embassy duty, Australia, Puerto Rico, Germany, Korea, Iceland, Alaska jungle survival in FL as well as many things in the field with security forces and Special Forces. The first year we were married we were apart 9 months, over the years we missed Birthdays, Anniversaries most holidays but we were always together for Christmas. He retired Sep 1, 2002 as a Master Sergeant having served a total of 291/2 years. He was a long time member of the state honor/color guard and he was selected to serve as the Adjunct Generals personal representative to two national workshops. After retiring from the AF Russ stayed busy doing everything he could to keep the house, barn and property running and looking good. He enjoyed woodworking, camping, rocks and minerals, metal detecting, treasure hunting and most of all his animals. He was a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans and the NRA. Grateful for having shared his life his mother Almeda of Brandon, SD, wife Cindy of Larkspur, CO, his son Sean Michael and his wife Brenda (Christenson) of South Jordan, UT, his daughter Elaine Dawn her husband John Marion of Franktown, CO. Two sisters Candice Scheibe of Sioux Falls, SD and Krystine Cramer of Larkspur, CO, Grandchildren Erin and her husband Justin Loder Virginia Beach, VA, Nick and Collin Cramer South Jordan, UT, Mac and Ella Marion of Franktown, CO and great-grand child Camden Loder as well as host of other relatives, his military family and friends. Russ was preceded in death by his father Clark and his in laws Wally and Carol (Otelle) Johnson. Please join the family for a celebration of life in the Larkspur, CO community park where the large pavilion is reserved for a ceremony then good food, good drinks and good friends. This park like our land was pasture land when we moved her in 1985. I hope that every one of you who has chosen to join us today; will walk away with an experience that changes pre-conceived notions of a “funeral”. That when you think back on today with thoughts on how new and different it was; to say it was fun, and until next time… SEE YA!
- Committal Service Thursday, July 11, 2019
- Celebration of Life Thursday, July 11, 2019
C. Russell Cramer
July 9, 2019
Wow Cindy this is the most beautiful obituary I have ever read. ❤️you can tell how close you two were. You shared a lot of each other. Russ will truly be missed,he left this earth way to soon, as you already know. I feel Cindy you helped Russ memories live on. We will see you Thursday.
July 9, 2019
Rest Easy Trooper, I always enjoyed talking with you over a beer at the Camana club on drill weekends, we’ll see you again someday save a cold one for me my friend ...
July 9, 2019
Fond remembrances of our growing up together have to start with the many times we pranked Mom and ran laughing to hide under the bed. She usually caught us which resulted in a whipping. The days we spent with our red wagon cruising Hwy 77 for returnable pop bottles; selling cold pop to the workers building I 90; pheasant hunts over Andy Boy the dog; I will also never forget the time I came home late at night from a camping trip with poison ivy rash on my legs. You put me in the shower and scrubbed my legs. What a Brother! You towing my VW with blown engine from Colombus, Ne. to Grand Island. You were so good at making things with your hands, like sewing a goose down vest for me. Russ, you always set a high standard for me and I spent most of my early days just trying to be you. You were the hardest working person I ever knew. It was because of your example to me, your younger brother that I became an over achiever in life. You will always have my gratitude. I will always have admiration and love for you. You will always be in my prayers. I pray your Spirit is at peace with God in the company of those you love.
July 7, 2019
Travel well Russ, see you on the other side old friend!
July 7, 2019
Russ, You will be missed. The fun times we spent at the CAMANA Club with you and Cindy are always be in my memories.
RIP my friend.
July 7, 2019
A true gentleman. Always generous with his knowledge and extensive technical experience. Thank you.