Cramer, Donald W.


Donald W. Cramer, age 80, of Winona, passed away on Monday, October 29, 2018, at the Mayo Clinic Hospital - St. Mary’s Campus in Rochester, Minn.

Don was born on April 16, 1938, in Randall, Minn., to William and Evelyn (Pogatchnik) Cramer. He attended school in Milwaukee, Wis., and in Chatfield, Minn., where he graduated from high school. Don honorably served his country with the United States Army from 1957-1960 while stationed in Germany.

He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in industrial education from Winona State, a Master of the Arts in education from Ball State in Muncie, Ind., and a PhD/ABD from Michigan State University in Lansing, Mich.

He was united in marriage with Joanne J. Ellis on October 10, 1959, and she preceded him in death on August 9, 1992. He later married Jane (Bergaus) Merchlewitz on March 6, 1999.

Don had a long teaching career at Winona State where he was an assistant professor in the Industrial Arts Department, director of Academic Computing, chairman of the Mass Communications Department, assistant professor in Mass Communications, as well as a computer graphics teacher. He retired from Winona State in 1999 and was given the status of Professor Emeritus.

Don had a deep and abiding faith and was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Winona, where he had previously served as a trustee. The deep devotion to his faith brought him great comfort and strength, especially during the loss of his wife and two sons.

He will be remembered for his enjoyment of traveling, gardening and riding his motorcycle. His greatest joy in life was his family, and he was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He will be deeply missed by all those who loved him.

Don is lovingly survived by his wife, Jane, of Winona; children, Keith (Lisa) Cramer, of Pine Island, Minn., Allen (Wendy Larson) Cramer, of Longwood, Fla.; granddaughters, Anna and Sara; brothers, Merlin, Edwin, and Robert Cramer; step-children, Vicki Merchlewitz, of Fairbanks, Alaska, Valerie Fakler and Diane Michuda, of Algona, Iowa, and Jim (Mindy) Merchlewitz, of Woodbury, Minn.; 13 step-grandchildren; one step-great-grandchild; as well as nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Joanne; and sons, Matthew and Thomas Cramer.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 3, 2018, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Winona, where visitation will be held in the church commons from 10 a.m. until the time of the Mass. The Reverend James Berning will officiate. Following the Mass, the American Legion Leon J. Wetzel Post 9 of Winona will provide Military Honors outside the church.

Don will be laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery in Chatfield during a private family ceremony.
The family prefers memorials, which may be directed to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, 7401 Metro Blvd #300, Minneapolis, Minn., 55439.

Online condolences or memories may be left for Don’s family at
Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

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