Obituary of Rae S Kramer
Born and bred in Brooklyn and proud of it, Rae died in Syracuse on March 28, 2023 at age 76, following seven years of moving forward while dealing with a diagnosis of lung cancer, and living well beyond what life the statistics had promised.When first diagnosed, Rae told her oncologist that her positive attitude would make her one of his success stories. She certainly delivered on that promise.Rae came to Syracuse in 1972 with her spouse, Lanny Freshman, both of them to do graduate work, she for her MSW and he for his MD. She anticipated staying in Syracuse for two years and then probably returning to NYC. 50 years later Rae had become a true Syracusan and had raised two wonderful sons, Lucas and Daniel, now grown and married men, who completed the circle by moving back to Brooklyn.Rae worked in health planning and administration and was part of the founding group of the Prepaid Health Plan and the Central Square Health Center. When her sons were young Rae, a non-athlete, but a formidable organizer, began some 25 years of coaching both boys and girls with East Side Soccer. She gave many an Eastsider a strong start and she was particularly proud of having young girls be coached by women. Having been raised in a home where unions, civil rights and working for peace were paramount issues, Rae became immersed in those causes, and she served numerous stints in prison for her always non-violent protests to try and make our community and world a better place for everyone. Despite Rae’s very strong beliefs in peace and justice causes and willingness to be incarcerated for those beliefs, it would be difficult to find a local police officer or judge who had interacted with her who did not like and respect her. Her death will be felt throughout the peace and justice community in Syracuse and well beyond Central NY. Deepest thanks to all those who have sent their uplifting feelings to Rae, to the skilled and compassionate hospice nurses, and above all to Rae’s sister, Laura Kramer-Carini without whom this part of Rae’s journey would not have been possible or bearable. Consistent with Rae’s principles she has donated her body to the Upstate University Medical School.
If you wish to honor Rae, please donate to any relevant organization. Some favorites of Rae’s would include ACLU, Hospice of CNY, Planned Parenthood, Humane Society and Amnesty International.
A coming together of friends from the various communities of Rae’s life will be held On Sunday April 23rd from 1 to 4PM at University United Methodist Church 324 University Avenue Syracuse NY 13210. Everyone will be welcome and will hopefully bring their remembrance of Rae.