Ron Kramer, Tight End With Packers and Lions, Dies at 75
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: September 12, 2010
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Ron Kramer, a former tight end for theGreen Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions, died Saturday at his home. He was 75.
The University of Michigan, Kramer’s alma mater, announced his death but did not release the cause of death.
Kramer caught two touchdown passes from Bart Starr in Green Bay’s 37-0 victory over the Giants in the 1961N.F.L. championship game. He had his most productive season in 1962, with 37 receptions for 555 yards and 7 touchdowns, and was an All-Pro.
Kramer spent seven seasons with the Packers after being drafted in the first round with the fourth overall pick in 1957. He did not play in 1958, when he joined the Air Force while recovering from a leg injury sustained at the end of his rookie season. He finished his career with three seasons in Detroit, where he grew up, and he retired after the 1967 season.
Tom Lewand, the Lions’ president, said in a statement that Kramer was one of the city’s most accomplished athletes.
“It was so fitting that Ron ended his prestigious career playing for his hometown team,” Lewand said. “He will be dearly missed.”
Kramer earned three letters each in football, basketball and track at Michigan and led the Wolverines in scoring for two seasons in football.
His No. 87 is one of just five numbers retired by the university in football. He played offensive and defensive end, running back, quarterback, kicker and receiver.
“He called me after every loss, and that meant a lot because it’s a lonely feeling to lose when you’re the coach at Michigan,” the former Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr said Saturday night. “I’ll never forget that he used to bring our team apples because he remembered somebody doing that for him when he played at Michigan.”
As a basketball player, Kramer scored 1,119 points and was the team’s most valuable player as a junior. He set the program’s scoring record as team captain his senior year with 1,124 points, a standard that stood until 1961.
Despite weighing 230 pounds, he competed in the high jump in track.
“Ron was one of the great Michigan athletes of the 20th century,” Michigan’s athletic director, Dave Brandon, said in a statement released by the university.
After retiring, he operated Ron Kramer Industries in Fenton, Mich., about 35 miles north of Ann Arbor.
Kramer was elected to the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1971. In 1981, he was named a recipient of the N.C.A.A.’s Silver Anniversary Award in recognition of significant professional and civic contributions spanning 25 years after completion of his collegiate eligibility.
He was born June 24, 1935, in Girard, Kan., and his family moved to the Detroit area when he was 5.