as it appeared in the Santa Barbara News Press
June 15, 2005
Henry Paul Hugo Kramer,
Sr. died Saturday morning, June 11, in his Mission Canyon home of ideopathic
pulmonary fibrosis. He was born December 10, 1924 in Dusseldorf, Germany
to Fred and Helene (nee Oppenheim) Kramer. Born to a secular Jewish family,
Henry escaped Nazi Germany with his parents, older sister and younger
brother in 1936 to come to the United States. After a year in New York,
the family settled in Paso Robles, CA where Henry finished high school.
He entered UC Berkeley at 15, earning degrees in mathematics and physics
and ultimately a Ph.D. in mathematics. Henry served in the U.S. Army at
the Paratroop Corps School at Fort Benning, Georgia, became an officer
and served in the Counter Intelligence Corps School. He married Frances
Elin Sorbello in 1946; they had five children: Helena, Henry Jr., Rebecca,
Jeremy, and David. Henry had a long and varied career that included mathematical
research, analysis and technical work at Lawrence Radiation Lab.
Berkeley, Bell Telephone Laboratories in New Jersey, General Electric's
think tank, "Tempo" in Santa Barbara and other scientific research
and development companies. He started a number of entrepreneurial enterprises
to license his proprietary computer software, culminating in Image Research
Corp., which was sold to Computer Associates, and taught mathematics at
Fairleigh-Dickinson, Point Mugu, Cal Poly and the University of Mexico
in Mexico City. In later years he was active in the Santa Barbara Society
for Jewish Secular Humanism and the Santa Barbara Democratic Party, in
which he served on the Central Committee and worked on numerous campaigns.
He also volunteered at the McKinley school, teaching 3rd grade students
the beauty and magic of math.
Henry is survived by his
wife, their five children and seven grandchildren, his brother and sister-in-law
Steve and Maria Kramer of La Mesa and their four children and six grandchildren,
his sister Doris Kramer Gilmore's five children and six grandchildren,
and numerous loved relatives and friends. Adventurous boy, refugee, immigrant,
scholar, paratrooper, husband, father, brother, son, mathematician, linguist,
musician, world traveler, political activist, grandfather, friend, incorrigible
punster, entrepreneur, swimmer, runner, inventor, humorist, crossword
puzzler, pragmatist, and mentor, Henry Kramer is much loved. He is, and
will be, dearly remembered.
His family will hold an Open
Memorial on Friday, June 17 from 10:30am-12:00pm at 1503 Mission Canyon
Road, followed by a private family graveside service. In lieu of flowers,
donations of time or money may be made to the Democratic party, MoveOn.org,
the Santa Barbara Jewish Federation, or the Santa Barbara public schools.