Longtime pillar of Roseau, Kramer, dies
Longtime Roseau, Minn., teacher, coach and administrator Ambrose (A.J.) Kramer of Roseau, Minn. died March 1 in the Roseau Area Hospital. Born Oct. 11, 1919, in Carlisle, Minn., Kramer attended elementary school in Brandon, Minn., and high school...
Longtime Roseau, Minn., teacher, coach and administrator Ambrose (A.J.) Kramer of Roseau, Minn. died March 1 in the Roseau Area Hospital.
Born Oct. 11, 1919, in Carlisle, Minn., Kramer attended elementary school in Brandon, Minn., and high school in Fergus Falls, Minn. After graduating in 1937, he went to school at the St. Cloud Teachers College in St. Cloud, Minn. He earned education degrees in physical education, health and social studies.
From there, his legacy in Roseau began.
When Kramer had moved to Roseau to teach, he soon was joined by his new bride, Eleanor Porwoll. After the couple married Aug. 23, 1944, in St. Cloud, the moved into their Roseau home located directly across the street from where Kramer taught. And it is where they raised five children.
Almost immediately after beginning his tenure in the Roseau school system, Kramer began coaching every sport, from football to cross country; he even was able to claim he coached one hockey game. Kramer coached the 1946 boy's basketball team, which was the first, and to date, the only Roseau boy's basketball team to make it to the state tournament.
In July 2006, Roseau played an all-school basketball game dedicated to Kramer and his 1946 team. Many of Kramer's former players played, as well as many who knew of his legacy, according to Roseau High School principal and athletic director Terry Gotziaman.
Kramer's daughter, Elizabeth Kvien, said people often would tell her stories of how her father kept them from getting in trouble.
Kramer was inducted into the Minnesota State High School League's Hall of Fame for athletic directors and coaches.
As a teacher, he ran the gamut of subjects, teaching everything from history to geography to gym class.
And Kramer's influence reached out from the school into the entire community. He was instrumental in helping put Roseau on the map as a Minnesota Star City, and he helped establish the Knights of Columbus chapter in the city.
Above all, he was a family man, with five children, 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, many of whom still live in the area.
"I think he was very proud of his family," Kvien said. "He made his students and his family do the very best that they could."
Services for A.J. Kramer will be at 10:30 a.m. today in Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 403 Main Ave. N. in Roseau.