Monty William Kramer, 51, of Creston, passed away at Mercy Medical Center on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. Celebration of life services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 10, at Pearson Family Funeral Service and Cremation Center, 809 W. Montgomery St., in Creston with Rev. Linda Poore officiating. Open visitation will be from 1 to 8 p.m. Monday, July 9, with family receiving friends from 4 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the family in Monty’s name to be determined. Online condolences may be left at www.pearsonfuneralhomes.com.
Monty William Kramer was born Aug. 5, 1966, to Arden A. Kramer and Carol J. (Antisdel) Kramer in Creston. He was the fourth of six children and was raised on the family farm east of Orient. He graduated from the Orient-Macksburg school system in 1984.
Monty spent his childhood learning about farming from his father and grandfather. Spending time with his siblings and cousins, and family vacations were always a part of his childhood. In addition, he learned to ride a motorcycle at a very young age, so young in fact that he could not actually touch the ground and someone would have to catch the bike when he stopped. Thus began his lifelong love of motorsports.
He spent his winters riding snowmobiles in the mountains of Wyoming, Colorado and Montana, and his summers riding his three wheeler or four wheeler with friends, and more recently, his Harley and his offroad bike. His goal was to ride in all the states, which he made it to 28, and his dream was a Harley trip through Europe. Through all his motor sporting adventures, he made many lifelong friends.
In August 1982, a very shy young farm boy showed up on the doorstep of a young girl in Greenfield. After a rough first date, due to his extreme shyness, he began to grow on her. When a year later he remembered the anniversary of their first date, she knew she had a keeper. On June 6, 1987, Monty was united in marriage with Sherri L. Lauer in Greenfield. Monty purchased a farm and a house north of Orient, and this is where they began their new life together. In 1993, they welcomed their first child, a daughter, and in 1997, a son was born. In 1998, they built a new home together in the Zion area and have lived there ever since.
Monty loved to travel and taking his children to many different places around the country was a joy for him. The goal was to try to add a national park sign picture of the kids each trip. Monty enjoyed following his children’s activities as they grew up. He was a true “softball dad,” which he swore would never happen. He was very proud of his children and the young adults they have become. Just a week before he was hospitalized, the family celebrated the best day ever, as Monty walked his daughter down the aisle at her wedding. It was truly a great day.
Monty also had a deep passion for music which he shared with a group of guys he has been friends with since his school days. They were even known to perform on occasion back in the day. These guys have maintained a friendship over time and distance, and just last summer got together in Las Vegas to attend concerts by The Who, Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton. It was such a great week, Monty had immediately started planning for the next concert trip.
As the children grew up and moved on with their own lives, Monty and Sherri began enjoying some much deserved time with each other. Spending his days with his wife is what made him happy. When she would say just let me stay home and get something done around the house, he would say no, just come ride with me. They spent their time together farming, traveling, eating at the Windrow and visiting with people. He loved to visit with anyone and everyone. Monty made so many great friends in his life and was so thankful for all of them. He was one of the happiest, kindest, most easygoing guys this world has ever seen and would do anything for anyone. A gentle giant as his family called him, or my big teddy bear as his wife referred to him.
On July 4, 2018, after a short heart illness, Monty passed away with his wife holding his hand and telling him how much she loved him and how proud she was of him.
He will be missed dearly by the love of his life, his wife Sherri; his daughter Shelby Clayton and husband Jake; his son Reece Kramer; his father Arden Kramer; four sisters and a brother, Michelle (Curt) Downing, Melinda (Doug) Skellenger, Melody (Jeff) Murphy, Meg (Brian) Haines and Mike (Della) Kramer; his mother-in-law Janice Lauer; his brother-in-law Marc Lauer; and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his daughter Cassie; his mother Carol; his grandparents, AC and Anna Kramer and Claude and Georgia Antisdel; and niece Megan Skellenger.