PLAIN—Norman F. Kraemer, age 94, of Plain entered eternal life surrounded by his family at the Sauk Prairie Hospital on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. He was born on Oct. 17, 1923, the son of Alphons John and Mary Theresia (Frank) Kraemer in Plain, Wis. He attended St. Luke’s Elementary and High School, graduating in May 1942. Norm was called into military service in April 1943 to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He was sent to the Army School of Cryptography in Pawling, N.Y. and in November 1943 he was assigned to the 7th Army Air Corps at Hickan Field on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Norm participated in the invasion of Guam in May 1944 and Okinawa in April 1945, and after 34 months of service was discharged in January 1946.
On May 21, 1946, he married his high school sweetheart, Louise Brechtl Kraemer, and seven children blessed this union. In their early years Louise gave Norm the love and support he needed as he coped with the ups and downs of his work. In their later years Norm could often be seen holding Louise’s hand as they walked, guiding her as he became her eyes. They celebrated 72 years of marriage this year. Norm’s goal for his seven children was for each one to have a college education. He did not always agree with their decisions in life, but he gave them the freedom to make their own choices. He was our hero. On April 1, 1948, Norm along with his brothers, Alfred and Linus founded Kraemer Brothers Inc., and built it into a highly respected and successful construction company that has been one of the “Top 400 Construction Companies” in the United States for many years. He served on the board of The Associated General Contractors as well as on the board of the Associated Builders Contractors, along with committees of both organizations. In the last 50 years, Kraemer Brothers has constructed over 700 major building projects. Norm respected the men who worked for him. He expected them to work hard and do quality work, but he also saw them as people and greeted them by name at the job sites Norm semi-retired as CEO of Kraemer Brothers on Jan. 1, 2003. In 1970 Norm, with other investors, organized and constructed Maplewood of Sauk Prairie, a 125 bed nursing home facility and in 1999, opened Maplewood Village, a 24 unit assisted living facility. He has been president of both facilities. He was especially proud of Maplewood, stopping in frequently to check with staff that life was going well for the residents.
He served on the River Valley School Board for six years and was president of the school board for four years. He was a dedicated member of St. Luke’s Catholic Parish, served on the Parish Council and was president of the council for three years and served on the Education Commission. He enjoyed being involved and was generous with his time. And he was always ready with ideas and monetary support. Norm organized a 4 Lakes Chapter of Boy Scouts of America in Plain and acted as Institutional Representative. He was a charter member of the Plain Lions Club and still retains membership as well as being a member of the Plain American Legion Post No. 398 since 1947. In 1988, he was appointed by Governor Tommy Thompson to serve on the Governors Commission of Taliesin Preservation. Norm felt humbled and grateful when he was installed as a Knight of St. Gregory by Pope John Paul II, presided over by William H. Bullock of the Diocese of Madison in 2001, and also when he was presented with the Visionary Leadership Award by the Madison Diocese Catholic Charities in 2006.
Norm is survived by his wife, Louise (Brechtl) Kraemer of Plain; seven children, Tom (Soni) Kraemer of Plain, Mickey (Irv) Snyder of Spring Green, Grace (Kimball) Nyman of Oshkosh, Jean Schnick of De Forest, Bonnie Kraemer of Madison, Dr. Matt (Jennifer) Kraemer of Oshkosh, and Becky (Marty) Loy of Stevens Point; 27 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; a brother, Robert (Betty) Kraemer; four sisters, Marie Zajicek, Helen Taylor, Ann (Tom) Gerothanas and Karol (Charlie) Wickmann; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Alphons and Mary Kraemer; a granddaughter, Sara Loy; a son-in-law, Thomas Schnick; seven sisters, Bernice Kraemer, Deloros Kraemer, Grace Kraemer, Irene Esch, Lorraine Haas, Florence Schluter and Elizabeth Scallon; two brothers, Alfred and Linus Kraemer; eight brothers-in-law, Dean Taylor, Brian Scallon, Bob Esch, Monroe Haas, Jim Zajicek, Bill Schluter, Tony Hutter and Ray Liegel; and three sisters-in-law, Helen Marie Kraemer, Florence Kraemer and Mary Ann Liegel.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, at 11:30 a.m. at ST. LUKE’S CATHOLIC CHURCH in Plain. Father John Silva will officiate, with burial in the church cemetery. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, at ST. LUKE’S CATHOLIC CHURCH from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and again on Thursday at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of Mass.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Luke’s Catholic Church, St. Luke’s Catholic School Endowment or to Camp Hope. Online condolences available at www.staffordfuneralhomes.com. The Richardson-Stafford Funeral Home of Spring Green is assisting the family with the arrangements.