Live life, love life, work hard: Harold Kraemer’s legacy to his family and friends

October 2010 Posted in Other

Harold Kraemer, 1936-2010The Kraemer family has had many people share with them how their father and grandfather, Harold Kraemer, made a difference.

“We are amazed at the impact he had on so many people,” Ken Kraemer said. “I love to think his family was not just us but everyone in his life from his wife, kids, relatives, employees and friends.”

Harold Kraemer died in his sleep at his Mount Angel home on Sept. 25 after battling health problems. He was 74.

The Kraemer children said their father had a passion for people and loved to get to get to know anyone who crossed his path. Harold Kraemer was never afraid to ask questions and find out what was going on in people’s lives.

The fifth of eight children to Anthony and Clara Kraemer, Harold  was born on June 20, 1936.

He married Ann Burdick on Nov. 10, 1956 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mount Angel. Their eight children are Janet Kirk, Dan Kraemer, Karen Schiedler, Donna Paradis, Ed Kraemer, Tom Kraemer, Barb Buchholz and Ken Kraemer. He and his wife are grandparents to 31 grandchildren and three great grandchildren with the fourth due in February. Harold’s children agreed that he instilled a strong work ethic in his children and grandchildren.Harold and Ann Kraemer’s family.

As an owner of Kraemer Farms, he spent many of his days checking the crops, making lists for the next day’s work and planning the farm’s future.

“He had a talent for looking at a problem, assessing the situation, making a decision and moving on to the next project. He was a great leader and loved having his family work alongside him on the farm,” Ken said.

More than 20 crops are grown at Kraemer Farms. One of the reasons the farm is diversified is because of the saying Harold’s dad had, “Just because you were born on a berry farm doesn’t mean you have to stay in one!”

Harold Kraemer was eager to try a new crop and loved meeting with people to learn how to grow that new crop.

What Harold Kraemer was most proud of was his family. Last spring, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren gathered for a portrait. Ken said his dad smiled and joked, “The next time we do this we are going to need a bigger tractor.”  His daughter Janet Kirk said her father created a legacy through his work and through his family.

“He loved life more than most of us can imagine,” Janet Kirk wrote.  Harold Kraemer never missed an opportunity to tell his family or friends during the last three years of his life how much he appreciated and loved them.

“The lessons that dad gave us are challenging but worth it,” Ken Kraemer said at his father’s funeral. “Always make new friends, enjoy good times with old ones, be generous to people, love the land and the people that work it with you; love your family and love your God.”

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