Ruth Ann Cramer
April 23, 2017 – Debbie Bloom
She taught me A Thanksgiving Prayer recited from her hospital bed:
Sirach 51: 8-14
Then I remembered the mercies of the LORD,
his acts of kindness through ages past;
For he saves those who take refuge in him,
and rescues them from every evil.
So I raised my voice from the grave;
from the gates of Sheol I cried for help.
I called out: LORD, you are my Father,
my champion, my savior!
Do not abandon me in time of trouble,
in the midst of storms and dangers.
I will always praise your name
and remember you in prayer!
Then the LORD heard my voice,
and listened to my appeal.
He saved me from every evil
and preserved me in time of trouble.
For this reason I thank and praise him;
I bless the name of the LORD.
May her family be comforted!
Visiting Great Grandma
February 11, 2017 – Alex Thomas Kreger
On the day before thanksgiving we went to visit great grandma at the hospital and she said to me “Eat some pumpkin pie for me, oh yeah that’s right you don’t like pumpkin pie” I laughed, I thought it was funny.
Love and caring
February 10, 2017 – Laurian & Constance Bettencourt
The Lord’s grace and love be with you Mathew,and the family. Remembering when I first met Ruth at a retreat in 1973 .God used her to open a door to a greater relationship with Jesus. She was always showing and giving love and her beautiful smile, always giving. The list of peoples, Lives she touched will be many!
One very special lady!
Cousin (& wife) of Ruth Ann’s Daughter-in-Law, Anne
February 9, 2017 – Tom & Colleen Trinko
Though we never had the privilege to meet Ruth Ann, we heard such lovely things about her from Anne. We will keep her in our prayers.
February 9, 2017 – Judy Kramer
To the Cramer Family,
My thoughts and prayers go out to your whole family. Ruth Ann was such an insightful and caring person. I didn’t know her that long, but even so, she made a huge impression on me. She was always happy and cheerful even when she was in pain. I am saddened not to have her in my life anymore. Even though I was her caregiver, I think she gave more to me than I gave to her. She will be missed.
My thoughts and prayers go out to you,
February 8, 2017 – The Regans
Please accept our deepest condolences. We have ordered several more copies of Ruth Ann’s wonderful book so that we may share it with others. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
What a ride
February 7, 2017 – Kelly Gorman
As I read through all of the memories, I also couldn’t help addressing you as RuthAnn.
Our family came to know you back when Craig and Daniel became fast friends. I have had the honor to be a guest at your home, surrounded by your company as we all celebrated various accomplishments of all the Carbone children and of course, Cheryl.
What you leave behind is quite a legacy. Your life touched so many in so many ways. You truly accepted people for who they were; regardless of their beliefs. You were a constant rock for Cheryl and the kids when they needed you most.
Your book was quite the story. I loved it and hated it at the same time. It seemed so surreal, and always wanted to sit down and talk with you about some of the trouble I was having while reading the book. However, in the end, even though the struggles were real, there was always one constant. And that constant remains with all of us today. We have not been promised an easy life. But we are promised that He will never abandon us. He will walk besIde us and carry us when we feel we can no longer walk or bear whatever is troubling us. Some have it more difficult than others. Your life was quite a ride.
If there was one thing I wish I could have told you before you left this earth to be with our Heavenly Father, it would be “thank you”. Thank you for the example you set for others. Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents. Thank you for being RuthAnn Cramer. Like a snowflake, there is only one RuthAnn.
Grieving our loss will turn to sweet memories and it will be memories that will support your family and friends as they continue to live without you in their presence here on earth.
“To everything there is a season…” and your season, while here on earth, was met with determination and God’s will.
God now says, ” well done my faithful servant.” Come home to rest.
February 5, 2017 – Giavanna Ruthann
I remember how she told me I WAS beautiful as I was having rough times at school and doubting it was true. She always gave me confidence! I miss her so much.❤
In her own words
February 3, 2017 – Connie & Jim Evans
Dear family and Ruth Ann’s friends,
I went back into my notes from Ruth Ann’s book and these seem fitting as a legacy….
How can a story full of torture, rape incest, sodomy, pedophilia, betrayal, murder, prejudice be considered a “love story?”
I composed questions for each chapter a few years ago from Ruth Ann’s book, so now it is time to remember her writing skills, love of God that permeates her work, and wisdom through her characters.
IN RUTH ANN’S OWN WORDS FROM HER BOOK: (just a small sample)
“…sometimes life is not so simple…it’s not what you do, it’s where and what you come from, where you begin—and what you find yourself in. I come from the kind of life folks can’t buy out of, where life starts rotten and stays rotten,”
“…[Tricia] had erected walls, barriers, obstacles, carefully garnered and arranged, assembled and cemented, brick by brick, block by block. These walls, these restraints she’d built, fortified, and safeguarded since childhood were her guardians, her protection.”
“Hope hid behind another curtain—dangling, hawking, promoting the possibility that things could change for the better. Isn’t there always the possibility that change is about to happen…?”
380 “Great-Granny always said she had the ‘gift of helps.’”
430 “For many a racist, or any person who feels prejudice against another – whether black, whiter, brown, yellow, or green – hate’s the only thing in their lives that’s working. Hate gives them meaning and purpose, makes them feel alive! Hate makes them proud of themselves and superior to others.”
435 “Fess up! Don’t shiver before nothin’ or no one—only God.”
485 “Great-Granny cut a plant way back, and it looked trashed and dead; she’d water and feed it, and soon, it came back even stronger and more beautiful than ever –until the next time it got trimmed….For where there’s breath, there’s life; where life, there’s hope.”
502 Psalm 86 “Incline Your ear, O Lord; answer me, for I am afflicted and poor. Keep my life, for I am devoted to You; save Your servant who trusts in You. Have pity on me, O Lord, for to You I call all the day. Hearken to my prayer; attend the sound of my pleading. In the day of my distress, I call upon You, for You will answer me.”
557 “And, God said to her: Do not beg Me to make you a different world; look to the world within your heart. Work to change the world there, and your work for a better world will bear fruit.”
610 “There are those who lust after the rewards of hate.”
Ruth Ann’s spirit will linger in our hearts.
73 “I love you God. Hide me beneath the wing of your angels.”
With love, Jim & Connie Evans
February 3, 2017 – Rebekah Kreger
Years ago, when the Carbone’s lived in Inver Grove Heights, I remember grandma in the kitchen at their house during some family gathering, stirring some bowl of something, merrily chatting away.
Just outside the kitchen, Cousin Michael had something to show us kids: a rubber ball with little protrusions all over it, string-like and covering the surface of the toy. Whether he had the intention to frighten her in mind or not, I don’t know, but he rolled the ball quickly across the kitchen floor towards the feet of grandma.
At the skittering sound and flash of movement, she screamed and scrambled to climb onto the counter, away from what was certainly a rat. She only made it as far as her tiptoes, backing away from the perceived threat, eyes wide, hands searching for a weapon among the kitchen utensils.
We all didn’t know whether to chastise Michael or laugh at grandma. No one had heard her make that sound before, nor move so quickly. I think I recall Michael bringing the toy to her saying, “Look grandma, it’s just a ball.” A flood of chuckles and reassurances filled the kitchen. I was too young to have any experience with a rat in the kitchen, so I had no idea what had caused her to react so strangely until it was explained to me.
I have another rodent story I’ll add soon.
But I already signed…
February 3, 2017 – Jennifer
Seeing her name at the top of the sight suddenly reminded me of when Gia was born. I called Grandma to tell her I had named her first grandchild Giavanna Ruthann in her honor.
There was a big pause… and Grandma said ‘Oh my darling, you know my name is just Ruth right? Ruth and Ann are separate.’
Nope, never even occurred to me. Never heard anyone just call her Ruth in my life.
Ann and I already signed the birth certificate. Good thing it’s the thought that counts 😉
Strike a pose!
February 3, 2017 – Matt
I was given the opportunity to take photos of Ruth Ann after she published her book. They were to be used in a local magazine that was covering her achievement. I spent the afternoon with her and Matthew snapping away and got a great glimpse of their true love for each other and their family. It was an honor knowing Ruth Ann and I will miss her dearly.
February 3, 2017 – Jennifer
After Gia was born she and I flew back to MN from Ohio for a baby shower at Grandma’s. Grandma wrote and performed a song for her, in a full nightgown and bonnet. I love that song.
I am baby Giavanna
Cuddle up and hold me don’t you wanna
I have ten tiny fingers and ten nibbly toes
Round little baby cheeks and cute button nose
I am baby Giavanna…..
Grandma Playing with Phoebe
February 2, 2017 – Josh
Just a couple weeks ago, Grandma and Phoebe were able to share a bit of a connection. I’m obviously very glad we made the trip.
A Letter to My Grandma on Her 75th Birthday
February 2, 2017 – Rebekah Kreger
Monday, May 30, 2011
Recently, as I was going through boxes in storage to gather baby items for Jennifer’s soon-to-be-arriving son, I came across an old, tattered, red scrapbook. This scrapbook had been through the ringer. It shows evidence of water damage and mildew. It has been packed, moved, and stored in five different houses over 15 years. Some of the writing has faded, some of the colors have bled, and some of the glue holding its contents has released, but the book is intact. And what it holds is priceless: the scraps of hopes and dreams of a little girl who was inspired by her grandmother.
On the cover is inscribed, “This scrapbook was given to me by my grandmother, who inspired me to write, sing, and create a life that is full and satisfying.”
The contents further illustrate the involvement that you had in shaping my desire to pursue my dreams.
The very first items, carefully pasted in the corner of the inside cover, are tickets to Crazy For You at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres (Aug 28, 1996). I remember this event as my first exposure to live theatre. It was a special outing for just you and I, as part of my 10th birthday stay-over. We had a little table in the front row, center. I had never heard a live orchestra, and suddenly the music was blasting forth from the pit, the snappy rhythms of George Gershwin. The chorus line of tap-dancing, sequined and feathered girls came out and I couldn’t take it all in. At one point, they rolled a Model-T Ford onto the stage and I’m sure I looked at you in disbelief! There was such magic woven in the air that night, and it awoke something in me. I had seen movie musicals, and heard recordings, but nothing prepared me for the electricity that seemed to hop between the performers and out into the audience. I knew then, that if it was possible, I would be one of those people making sparks for other’s enjoyment.
A page or so later, there is an envelope addressed to me from you, and postmarked July 30, 1997. It contains a letter that was part of our correspondence concerning the list of summer activities we were going to have published in a magazine. I remember you setting me up at your computer and telling me to just go for it, to write as many ideas as I could think of. I wrote for a long time! But I learned an important lesson about creativity: you just have to let it flow and do your editing later. You didn’t judge me, or try to tell me that the odds were against us ever publishing our article. Instead you taught me about creative process, collaboration, channeling ideas, and the assurance that every idea is valid and shouldn’t be discouraged just because it’s not pretty or finished yet. The confidence that gave me in my own talent (especially writing at that age) has continued to serve me well. When writing or learning a new song, when memorizing a new monologue or character, when figuring out blocking or costumes… I’m not discouraged when I have a few “bad ideas” at first. I know to keep trying, keep refining, and keep building on what I have.
Pasted about halfway into this scrapbook is a copy of a newspaper clipping from the Catholic Spirit (May 6, 1999). The article chronicles your efforts to promote The Cramer Foundation, the non-profit organization devoted to promoting Life in the Arts, Media, and Entertainment. It also advertises auditions for your Fall ’99 Fun!Raiser. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to see you guys in action. I have heard many stories and seen some videos, but to actually witness the number of people and resources that you managed, the music you gathered, the scenes you blocked… It became very real to me and will live in my memory as a testament that It Is Possible.
Stuck in the very back is a bulky, grey folder with ribbons falling out of it. I wasn’t sure what it was, until I realized it was the poster you had made for my graduation party (June 2004), deconstructed. As I went through the mound of pictures, I began to see myself through your eyes. They were scattered, not in chronological order. I saw glimpses of myself as a baby, eyes wide with promise and intelligence. As a young woman, accepting flowers on stage with the conductor of the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra. As a middle-schooler, singing into a microphone wearing a sequined dress. As a little girl, with long, blonde hair, and your son gazing on in the background. As a teenager, going through an ‘awkward’ period, outgoing and opinionated, wearing flannels and cutoff shirts. As an elementary-schooler, playing violin as the family looks on. My eyes filled with tears as I saw myself, not as in a mirror, but as an amalgamation of all of these girls.
At every point in my development, when things could have gone horribly wrong, you were always there to reassure me, to validate me, to keep me going. At times, you were larger than life to me, a saint, with infinite wisdom, resources, and love. Now that I’m older I realize that you are just a woman, like me. But you are a woman who at every crossroads has decided to follow Jesus. In the dark times, and in the good times, you are a woman of God, and that has defined your life. You taught me that my talent is not my own, that my strength is not my own, that my life is not my own. If there is one thing that I should thank you for, it’s that lesson. You showed me what is possible and necessary with a life in Christ. I will continue to strive for that.
I love you, Grandma. I have so much more to say about your cooking, your beauty, your fashion, decorating, kindness, sweetness, graciousness, hospitality, humility, generosity… I could go on. You’re one heck of a WOOOOOMAN!
Happy 75th Birthday!
Rebekah Anne (Cramer) Kreger
When Grandma Sat on the Pie
February 2, 2017 – Josh
You guys remember when grandma sat on the pie?