Obit: Kramas, Paul A. Sr. (1919 - 2011)
Surnames: Follmar, Hebert, Koplin, Kostrzewa, Kramas, Markee, Meyer, Wagner, Witkowski
----Source: The Tribune - Phonograph (Abbotsford, Clark Co., Wisconsin) Wednesday, June 8, 2011, page 14
Kramas, Paul A. Sr. (June 6, 1919 - May 27, 2011)
Paul A. Kramas Sr., 91, Greenwood, died on Friday, May 27, 2011, at the House of the Dove, Marshfield, after a brief battle with cancer.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m., on Tuesday, May 31, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Greenwood. Rev. Joseph Follmar officiated. Burial was in the Abbotsford Cemetery. Pallbearers were grandsons Craig Kramas, Wayne Kramas, Kevin Meyer, Nate Meyer, Andy Kramas and Travis Kramas. His other 23 grandchildren were honorary pallbearers.
Paul Andrew Kramas was born on June 6, 1919, in rural Thorp, to Andrew P. and Elizabeth M. (nee Witkowski) Kramas.
He married Esther Kostrzewa, of Milwaukee, on Oct. 18, 1941. They lived in Thorp before moving to Curtiss in 1955. They shared a 41-year union and raised 10 children together until Esther's death in 1982.
He then married Lucy Markee in 1983 and they settled in Greenwood.
He was an accomplished musician and performed as the lead member of numerous local polka bands. He wrote many of his own songs and performed for tens of thousands of people over the course of his life. He was a member of the Central Wisconsin Concertina Club. His greatest musical achievement was to be recognized by his fellow musicians when he was inducted into the World Concertina Congress Hall of Fame in 2003. He entertained audiences of all ages from around the country for more than 85 years, earning many accolades and awards from community leaders and audiences alike. His band regularly volunteered to entertain scores of listeners from the surrounding area's nursing homes and elderly care facilities with his old-time polka music.
He was an accredited Master Plumber, Master Electrician, and Master Sheet Metal Worker. He was a member of Local Union #24. He participated in construction of many major projects and key facilities around the country, including the Sears Tower in Chicago, Saint Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield, and the IDS building in Minneapolis. He was an active and longtime member of St. Mary's Church in Greenwood.
Survivors include his wife, Lucy; her three children, Lillian Hebert, Becky Markee, and David Koplin, all of Greenwood; his children, Dave (Dottie) Kramas, Darien, Doris (Jim) Meyer, Medford, Paul H. (Marcy) Kramas, Mosinee, Jack (Marlene) Kramas, Abbotsford, Joanne Kramas, Colby, Louise (Mike) Wagner, Denmark, Tom (Patricia) Kramas Sr., Athens, Mark (Carleen) Kramas, Marshfield, Bruce (the late Jan) Kramas, Dyersburg, Tenn., and James (Sally) Kramas, Ilion, N.Y.; 29 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and his sister, Stella Wilhelm, Thorp.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Esther; his son, Timothy; his grandson, Ronald; three brothers and seven sisters.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.cuddiefh.com.
Cuddie Funeral Home, Greenwood, assisted the family with arrangements.
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