Henry “Hank” Kramer, 84, of Montour Falls, NY, left Earth for his eternal ski trip on December 8, 2018.
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Hank was a fearless force of nature, continually on the search for new adventures that involved elements of danger, the chance to meet new people, or both. Born Enrico Guido Krämer, in Milan, Italy, Hank was raised in Oakland, California. After he graduated from UCSF/UC Berkeley’s pharmacy program, his first order of business was to spend 18 months exploring Europe on a Vespa scooter, with his skis and his camera. A gifted amateur photographer, he snuck photos out of Cold War Russia, which were published in a front-page spread in The Times of London.
Upon his return to California, Hank owned and operated several pharmacies, purchased a white Porsche convertible, then was lovestruck when Patricia Kelley, of Montour Falls, NY, got a prescription filled at his store. Weeks later, they were engaged. They married in 1963 and went on to produce five children in seven years.
Hank and Pat moved the family to the Finger Lakes and settled on the Kelley family land in Montour Falls in 1978. Full of curiosity, Hank switched careers, taking over Crusade & Smith, an interior and exterior finishes business in Elmira. Two weeks of every winter, he set off for helicopter skiing in the Canadian Rockies. He logged more than three million vertical meters in over 30 years and was considered a legend on the mountain.
Hank’s quest for adventure knew no boundaries. If you couldn’t find him playing on his farm, he was likely road cycling, skiing, snowboarding, windsurfing, motorcycle riding, visiting his kids and grandkids all around the United States, or holding court at Porsche Club of America events. In his last two years, when he was no longer able to travel the world, he opened an Airbnb destination on his property, bringing the world to him.
Hank’s beloved wife of 49 years passed away in 2012. He is survived by his five children, four children-in-law, seven grandchildren, and two sisters.
An event to celebrate Hank’s wonderful life will take place on December 29. Please contact HankKramerMemorial@yahoo.com for details. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to the Advanced Heart Failure Program at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Please allocate gifts to the Heart Failure/Transplant Res Fund, A11513. Checks payable to University of Rochester, Attn: Advancement, Box 278996, Rochester, NY 14627. Services entrusted to Royce-Chedzoy Funeral Home, Watkins Glen (www.RoyceChedzoy.com