Barbara Kramer passed away on March 17, 2021. She lived a full life, to a good old age of 82.
Barbara had her priorities in order and they were simple — to be with and love her children and grandchildren and closest best friends. She had a sweet touch — stroking a child’s hair, holding a hand, rubbing your back while she hugged you. She had a beautiful singing voice. As young kids, her four vied for a seat next to her in church to hear her better.
Her young life was hard work, sometimes sad, sometimes lonely. As a child, her family moved every couple of years. She was in a life-threatening accident during high school and lost her best friend. She recuperated in a brace and was told she would never have children. After she married, she had two miscarriages and then finally did have a baby. And then three more, quickly. That was both a blessing and hard, especially when her husband worked night shifts and lots of overtime and she was isolated in the country with four young kids and no car, and money was so tight.
But she could be vivacious and sassy and had a delightful giggle. She danced in the living room with her kids, country music on the record player. Played cards. Had her evening wine. She and Ray, her husband of 55 years, needled and teased each other constantly. He called her Barbie. Especially in their retirement years, they had adventures. She shocked her kids by loving hot air balloon rides. They boated on Norris Lake, did long road trips out West, got crazy at the Indy 500, enjoyed trips to Gatlinburg with their best friends, learned to cross country ski in her 50s. She really stretched herself.
But at heart, she was a homebody, happiest on her couple of acres with the deer and birds and her pets. Sitting with Ray, who she loved so much, until he passed away in 2015. Sitting on the front porch swing he built for her. Reading all the time. Cincinnati Reds on TV. Sitting and talking with Jean Duwel, her best friend since they were teenagers.
She was selfless, a peacemaker, always grateful, always showing appreciation to others. Even through these last few years of illness, she never complained. Always sweet.
Barbara is survived by her four children and their partners: Carolyn and Perry Washburn, Tom and Tracy Kramer, Tamara Behrens, Steve Kramer and Michele Miles; eight grandchildren Daniel, Aida and Madina Washburn, Tommy Kramer, Kristen and Erica Behrens, Amanda Sargent and Joe Kramer; three great-grandchildren; her sister-in-law, Joan Appling; and her best friend, Jean Duwel.
The family will have a private graveside service at a later date, to lay Barbie and Ray at rest together. Donations can be made to Hospice of Cincinnati and Bethany House Services.