Share 
Ambrose Kramer, Florida Bowen family photo
Larry Coleman
Added
by

Ambrose Kramer, Florida

A photo of Ambrose Kramer at a Southern States Missionary Conference circa 1959.

About Ambrose Kramer

In 1959 as a young Mormon missionary with my companion, Farel W. Bowen (a couple of years my elder), visited the home of Ambrose and Mary Kramer and their daughter, Patricia, in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. We knocked at their door, afterwhich they invited us in, listened to us, fed us, and made us feel right at home. Actually, Ambrose and Mary became like parent to my companions and me -- in fact, we soon were calling them "Pa" or "Ma Kramer" who insisted when at their house "it was OUR HOUSE!" We were to go to the refrigerator for a soda or whatever without asking. Pa Kramer was a brilliant, highly educated and skilled person with advanced knowledge with some sort of communication technology. He was in demand by big companies to "fix" something or another for them. He and my companion, Elder Bowen, hit it off great because they were interested in the same things. At some point in Ambrose Kramer's life he had something wrong with his throat -- perhaps it was cancer -- I can't remember, but it was very serious, and it seemed he was destined to die. About this time he became involved with the Christian Scientist religion which he attributed to the extention of his life with the "faith" he developed in this newly found religion. When I knew him, the quality of Pa Kramer's throat was somewhat hoarse and distorted to some degree, but he was able to talk and communicate just fine. Now, Ma Kramer was a lovely, well educated, delightful, and hospitable woman who always seemed happy and uplifting to those around her. She told me that she was from Texas -- confirmed by her Texas accent. I remember seeing a picture of Mary's brothers and sisters -- remembering what seemed to be maybe six, seven or more siblings. I was under the impression that she had been married before she married Ambrose Kramer. Her maiden name or else it was her first marriage's surname could have been "Pennyington." Her daughter, Patricia, took on the name of "Kramer" at her mother's marriage to Ambrose. It seems to me that perhaps Mary "may" have been trained as nurse, and as I remember, Pat was currently studying nursing. I know Mary had excellent secretarial skills and had earned her living as a professor at some college in Texas before her marriage to Ambrose. I know she and I could communicate using the "Gregg Shorthand" method for fun. After her marriage to Ambrose, Mary became his "personal" secretary in his seemingly "one man" business. After a few months, I was transferred to another area a couple hundred miles from DeFuniak Springs, but we remained in contact. Elder Bowen had been transferred before me and was serving somewhere else in Florida. When my "mission" was completed, I went back to Defuniak Springs and stayed with the Kramers several days to a week before heading to my home back West. While staying with them, Pa and Ma Karamer tried to convince me to stay in DeFuniak Springs -- even offering me five acres of forested land close to the highway. Pa Kramer took me over his large of property -- mostly still untouched by man. We didn't go to the site of a "moonshiner's still," however, that Pa Kramer said he chanced upon one day while exploring his property. The still was well hidden away, Pa Kramer said he immediately backtracked for fear the moonshiner would discover him. Pa Kramer felt that as long as he/we didn't bother the moonshiner, whoever it was wouldn't bother us. He said that as yet, he hadn't see the person. The Kramer's property was extensive with a huge house I would call a "southern mansion" with a couple of new cadillac automobiles out in front. It was a pretty setting -- there must have been several acres of grass between the "Bob Sikes Highway" and the house itself. As it turned out, although we became close friends, Pa remained with his Christian Scientist religion and, although Ma Kramer leaned towards Mormonism, she chose to stay with Pa and his religion. After Pa's death, however, Ma Kramer also joined the Church and came out West to Utah. Why? The reason being the daughter, Pat, who recognized our message as "truth" right from the beginning, was soon baptized into the Church . That -- along with the fact that Elder Bowen finished his mission soon afterwards! Elder Bowen's parents came down South to pick him up to take him home. Of course they stopped by and visited the Kramers. Before long, I received word that Elder Bowen and Sister Pat were going to be married! Pat and Farel lived in another home on the Kramer property, and I understood, he and Pa Kramer went into business together. Eventually, Farel and Pat moved back to Utah -- and that's how Ma Kramer came to live in Utah also, where our relationship continued. Note: In-as-much as Sister Pat, accepted our challenge to attend Church with us, and since it seemed from the appearance of the Kramers' being "well-to-do" and used to "nice things," we decided to take her to the neighboring town of Crestview because they had a lovely new, red brick church house! Whereas, the DeFuniak Springs Branch was struggling in a rented house for a meeting place. So we decided to take Sister Pat to the Crestview Ward for her first time or two! Now, the Crestview church had everything -- including a nice new piano, but no pianist! Consequently, the congregation had to sing accapella. Upon taking Sister Pat to that first meeting, the congregation was "butchering" the hymn. Elder Bowen and I knew that Sister Pat could play the piano, so with a little urging from us, the congregation was surprised when after the first verse of a hymn, Sister Pat (who really did seem right at home - and took up the challenge) slid onto the piano bench, gave a short introductory in order for the congregation could get the pitch, Sister Pat without hesitating played the remainder of the verses beautifully. The congregation loved her! Of couse she played all the hymns that day as well as whenever she visited there. But the next week, when Sister Pat wanted to attend Church again, Elder Bowen and I felt she should "feel the Spirit of the humble Saints" in the DeFuniak Springs humble meeting place! Now, the meeting place had a piano -- not as nice, but a piano and without a pianist, also. Of course, Sister Pat became their regular pianist from the very first time she attended. Elder Bowen and I had in our needless worry, misjudged the sincerity and humility of this sweet, young investigator. She fit in well with the Saints there in that little meeting place just as well as she fit in with those in the beautiful and new Chapel the week before. Sister Pat had no "pretense" about her at all. She accepted people for who they were and not what they "wore" or what their profession was. Sister Pat contributed her talents and knowledge with her fellow Saints, and was a great addition to the Church in that area and wherever she lived for the duration of her life! ...more info

Write a comment
Photo taken
Ambrose Kramer, Florida

Ambrose Kramer

Mini-biography
Born: Aug 24, 1901
Died: March 1975 (age 73)
Also in this photo: Ambrose Kramer  ·  Farel Bowen  ·  Alton Moon  ·  Larry Coleman