Memorial Mass for Paul R
Memorial Mass for Paul R. Cramer
This past Saturday, September 29th, Barbara and I drove to Amherst MA for a Memorial Mass for Paul Robert Cramer, better know to his Williams friends as "Diz." Pete Sterling had earlier apprised me of the rite and had asked me to attend, if for myself, then also for him. What follows here are photos of documents from the service, along with photos of members of Diz's family and his Williams friends.
Walt Morse offered a eulogy and at its conclusion played some dance music and did turns with each of Diz's daughters, in celebration of Diz and Walt's get-togethers in Sarasota FL. Nephew Bruce Barton read a poem honoring Diz's vocation as a teacher. Daughter Susan Twining spoke very movingly and personally about her Dad and, in the process, explained how Paul became Diz: he was so adept at baseball his seniors nicknamed him Little Diz after Dizzy Dean. She also reported that he had thought of entering the priesthood and had applied for entrance to Holy Cross... which school, unbelievably, did not accept him. Williams benefited, no doubt as the consequence of Mr. Boyden, headmaster of Deerfield, where Diz spent two years as a stand-out athlete, chorister, and all-round great guy. Those last encomiums were not Susan's but mine, as I read between the lines.
Following the Mass family and guests attended a reception at the Amherst Woman's Club. Each family member wore a name tag, mostly for the benefit of each other, since many cousins were meeting for the first time. The Cramer family had, like many, dispersed across the land. Grandfather Cramer, Diz's Dad, was the Amherst Postmaster during Diz's days in school. For the benefit of the family an illustrated genealogical chart was posted. Diz's sister, Barbara Barton, commiserated with me about knees while we remembered her brother's chained left arm (to prevent shoulder separation).
I noted two issues of The Williams Record atop the closed piano, one headlining Williams' victory over Amherst 40-7 in November 1951, a game in which Diz excelled; and a second, from May 1951, with a headshot of Diz and the other seventeen juniors selected for Gargoyle. On the mantle were two photos shown below.