Bill and Esther Kramer mark 50th anniversary
Bill and Esther Kramer of Flemington are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary tomorrow.
Bill grew up in Flemington, the son of Ernie and Charlotte Kramer, and Esther, daughter of Peter and Fae Piedmont, grew up in Blanchard. Both attended Lock Haven High School where Esther recalls having classes with Bill, who didn’t quite remember Esther in their younger years. It took Bill a little bit to catch on, but he finally took notice of his one day bride the summer of 1965 at Sylvan Hills Church Camp in Howard prior to their senior year and they began dating.
They were married April 7, 1967 in a private ceremony with Esther’s brother and sister-in-law, Pete and Linda, standing up for them. They took up residence in Lock Haven and later moved to Jersey Shore. They had a son, Michael, in 1968 and added a daughter, Sherrie, in 1969. Esther stayed home to raise the children and babysat to help provide for their family, while Bill worked at Norcen Industries in Jersey Shore in addition to attending Williamsport Area Community College to earn an associate’s degree as a machinist.
Life wasn’t always smooth for the Kramers. While working and attending night school, Bill battled hepatitis and was hospitalized for some time. Then the 1972 Agnes Flood destroyed their home along with all of their belongings. Esther recalls a person coming to her door and telling her that the water was rising and she had to leave right away. She grabbed Mike, Sherrie and a few belongings and left. Within minutes, the trailer park was under water. When they returned after the water receded, their home was severely damaged and the process of putting life back together began anew for the Kramers. They were provided housing for a few years until they were able to save enough money to buy a small home in Flemington (safe from any chance of flooding). Bill was always very crafty and Esther always had ideas on how she wanted to improve their home. So the work began to make this new house a home for their young family. They eventually subdivided their property and built a new home, which they continue to live in today.
Bill and Esther were always very family oriented. They would take their children camping in their pop-up camper. Mike always said, his dad would attempt to back the camper into the camping spot, but often couldn’t get it straight. Eventually, he would just get out of the car, unhitch the camper and tell Mike to get on the other side and they would push the camper into place.
Mike and Sherrie shared a few memories of some of Bill and Esther’s sayings, such as when Mike wanted to stop and get something to eat at McDonalds or Burger King, his dad would roll down the window and say, “Take a whiff.” or “Let’s not and say we did.” When the kids looked guilty of something, Esther would ask what they did and of course, Mike and Sherrie would saying, “nothing,” to Esther’s response, “We live in a small town, I may not find out today, but I will find out.”
Taking the kids to the ballpark to watch the Phillies was always a treat for the family. Little did they know how much baseball would impact their lives 50 years later and counting. Both Mike and Sherrie played baseball for Pee Wee’s Place, of which Bill was their coach for many years. Mike continued playing ball through college and Bill and Esther seldom missed a game. They continue to support their children and grandchildren’s baseball habits, by attending CMHS and LHU baseball games, as well as Hartford and Chesapeake baseball, when their grandsons, Trey and Cayden Stover, respectively, played at those schools. Baseball is defintiely in the blood of this family. Bill has always been an avid sports fan and can often be spotted at many local sporting events.
The Kramer’s would do anything for their children and grandchildren. A few examples of the sacrifices they made for the love of their family include one time when Sherrie’s car broke down while working and Esther, who was watching Trey and Cayden at the time, packed up the kids and took Sherrie her car, so Sherrie could finish her deliveries for the day. That left Esther stranded with two small children in Jersey Shore. So she started walking towards Lock Haven with her grandsons and a person stopped and picked them all up and took them to Bill’s workplace to ride home. Bill, over the years has continued to remain involved with baseball by helping as a CMHS volunteer coach with his son, Mike. The Kramers have traveled the country to support and watch their grandsons play baseball. It is evident that family means everything to Bill and Esther.
Bill worked his entire career for Norcen Industries, and is now enjoying retirement. Once the kids started school, Esther took a position at Widmann’s until it closed and then worked as an aide for KCSD, watched her grandchildren, and then ended her career as the receptionist for Dr. Chris Witmer Chiropractic of Jersey Shore.
Since retirement, Bill and Esther, enjoy their six Saturdays and a Sunday every week. They enjoy reading, walking, bird watching, putting together puzzles, visiting shut-ins, and participating in their church coffee club and the coffee club at McDonald’s. They travel, mainly to watch baseball games and visit friends and relatives who live in the area, as well as in New York, Georgia and Florida. No surprises there! Fifty years later, family and baseball continue to be the focal point for this amazing couple.
Bill and Esther have shared their faith, love, and a steadfast work ethic which has now flowed down through two generations. They have been solid examples for their children, grandchildren and anyone that has the opportunity to know them. Their children and grandchildren are excited to celebrate their 50 years with them and wish them many, many more.
— Alison Kramer