At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
A college fund for Ryan's Children
Please make checks payable to Krista Cramer
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Taken from his loved ones without warning, Ryan Cramer made a significant impact in the lives of everyone he met. He was vibrant, fun-loving, and generous beyond compare with a zest for life that was contagious to all who were near. When Ryan loved, he loved with his whole heart, and it was easy to see that his wife and his girls were his entire world. He was a lifelong member of the community he loved, and through his work he inspired countless young people and their families. Ryan was highly competitive, yet he was also quite a jokester who enjoyed making sure that others loved life as much as he did. Life will never be the same without him here, but he leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his loved ones will forever cherish.
The 1970s were an eventful time in American history. We became familiar with terms like Watergate and disco while shows like Dallas, The Brady Bunch, and Little House on the Prairie painted very diverse pictures of the American family. Amidst this eventful time was a time of great anticipation in the lives of Randy and Darla (Kimble) Cramer as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as December unfolded in the Mattawan and Lawton area of Southwestern Michigan in 1977. The big day finally arrived on December 1st when the baby boy they named Ryan drew his first breath. He was the older of two Cramer children as he was raised in the family home in the country alongside his sister, Megan, who was three years younger. He was very close to his sister throughout his life. Even from a young age Ryan had unlimited amounts of energy as he never slept through the night and was getting into his parents’ bed nearly every night. He was a fun baby and was the life of the party at a very young age.
It was also hard to miss that Ryan was a free spirited, adventurous, and lively boy who seemed to be fearless as well. He suffered several broken bones and experienced sports injuries of all kinds. Many summers were spent at the family cabin in the Upper Peninsula where Ryan could often be found fishing, which was something he enjoyed into adulthood. He played soccer, baseball, and basketball, and he grew to love golf, which was also something he enjoyed throughout his life. Ryan was a student at Mattawan High School where he continued playing soccer, baseball, and basketball. He was dual enrolled at Kalamazoo Valley Community College while in high school, and he graduated in 1996. Ryan may have gotten just a bit lucky with being able to graduate as he did get into his fair share of mischief. For their senior prank he and 11 friends locked a greased pig in an English teacher’s classroom, and the next morning the place was just a little messy and smelly. They were caught, and although punishments and small restitutions were handed out they did get to graduate. Ryan was the first super fan at Mattawan High School and was also the Spirit King at school. He later earned his bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University.
Not to be forgotten during his years in high school was Ryan’s introduction to the woman of his dreams. Her name was Krista Reynolds, and she was best friends with his sister Megan. In fact, Megan and Krista had been friends since the fifth grade. Although Ryan was a senior and she was a freshman, she finally agreed to go out with him. They started dating in 1995, marking the beginning of a chapter in a love story that would span more than 20 years. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Ryan and Krista were married on July 16, 2005, at Second Reformed Church in Kalamazoo. The newlyweds then drove to the Poconos for their honeymoon and then to the family cabin in Canada. While there, Ryan lost his wedding ring so they bought a new one on their way home!
Ryan started out in graphic design, but he eventually found education to be a good fit. He loved to coach and wanted to be an influence on kids as well. Ryan spent a short time teaching in public schools, but he later moved to Paramount Charter Academy where he taught fifth grade and then middle school. He found teaching students to be so rewarding, and he was also a coach and athletic director there. Ryan was a great influence on the staff, students, and parents, and he served as an incredible mentor and role model. He quickly became known as the go-to guy there as he always knew how to deal with anything that came up. Ryan was currently employed at Andy J. Egan Co, Inc. where he was an apprentice building towards becoming a journeyman service technician.
First and foremost in Ryan’s life was his family. Together he and Krista were blessed with two children, Claire in 2008 and Hannah in 2011. The days that his girls were born were forever the best days of Ryan’s life as becoming a parent deeply enriched his perspective on life. He was a very hands-on dad who also taught his girls invaluable lessons such as how to be respectful and polite with proper manners and a kind heart. Of course Ryan loved having fun with them, too, as he was there to cheer on his girls at all their events and activities, yet he was also there to pray with them as well. They frequented Chuck E. Cheese, liked playing golf, and there was nothing better than a tickle fest. Ryan also served as a father figure to his nieces and nephew.
Throughout his life Ryan was a man of many interests. He loved playing golf on his Tuesday night league, and he also looked forward to his annual golf trip with his buddies. A man of faith, Ryan was active in Mattawan Community Church where he was in charge of fellowship and also served as a deacon and was active in vacation Bible school. He was very competitive and loved Notre Dame, and he was also a huge history buff who liked classic rock from people like Bob Seger, Pink Floyd, and the Doors. Ryan loved Pepsi and pizza with crushed red pepper as well as simple things like hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and grilling all kinds of things.
In everything he did, it was easy to see Ryan Cramer’s love and devotion to his Lord. He was an even-keeled guy who knew how to make things better, and he was larger than life, too. Ryan was born to be a father, teacher, and mentor, and he will be forever missed.
Ryan Cramer, of Mattawan, died on Wednesday, September 7, 2016. Members of Ryan’s family include his wife, Krista; 2 daughters, Claire and Hannah; parents, Randy and Darla Cramer; sister, Megan Cramer and her 3 children: Olivia, Allayna and Derrick; grandmother, Ruth Kimble, Krista’s grandmother, Jeanette Pontious; father-in-law, Todd Reynolds; sisters-in-law, Nicole (Duane) McCollum and Renee (Andrew) Stevens; and brother-in-law, Ryan Reynolds. Ryan was preceded in death by his mother-in-law, Brenda Reynolds. Learn more about Ryan and visit with family and friends on Friday from 4-8 p.m. at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive; Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Funeral Services will be held at 11:30 on Saturday at the Centerpoint Church, 2345 10th St. Burial will be at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Mattawan. Please visit Ryan’s personal web page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made for a college fund for his children.