William B. Kramer, age 92, passed away on December 2, 2023 in Austin, Texas. He was born to William Berechul and Eva (Gager) Kramer, on the family farm in Galesburg, Kansas on October 6, 1931. As a young teenager, Bill already had a heart for missions and service, joining the Navy at 19 during the Korean War. Though Bill had placed his faith in Jesus as his Savior at a young age, it was aboard ship while in the Navy that Bill Sawyer challenged him to study God’s Word and memorize scripture. After five years in the Navy, he spent another five years being trained in discipleship by the Navigators and from 1960-1964, attended Multnomah School of the Bible. Bill later worked on staff at Central Bible Church in Portland, Oregon as manager of Trout Creek Bible Camp.
Joining Overseas Christian Servicemen’s Centers (Cadence International) in 1967, Bill was appointed to open a center in Ubon, Thailand. After an introduction by their mutual friend, Herb Flick, and a 5-month courtship via international post, Bill proposed to his wife Jeannette. They were married in Portland, Oregon in 1969, and soon after returned to the mission field. For the next twenty-three years, Bill, Jeannette, and later their daughter Jennifer, opened their home to military men and women. They provided Bible studies, worship, meals, mission trips, hospitality, and encouragement to service members stationed in Osan, Korea; Yokosuka, Japan; Rota, Spain; and Killeen, Texas.
In 1991, Bill’s focus shifted to pastoral ministry. For nearly eight years, he was an associate pastor at Hays Hills Baptist Church in Buda, Texas and then took a pastorate for three and half years at Faith Baptist Church in Rock Rapids, Iowa. In 2004, he became pastor of the Men’s Ministry at New Life Church in West Linn, Oregon. During his time at New Life, he developed a two-year course on Men’s Leadership Studies that was used there and by prisoners in Oregon, California, and Minnesota.
At the age of eighty, Bill resigned his position at New Life Church, but he did not resign from discipling men. The last decade was spent closer to family in central Texas and back at Hays Hills Baptist Church where he continued to teach and mentor up until he was promoted to glory.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 54 years, Jeannette Kramer; sister, Nora Maye Winslow; daughter Jennifer (Irma) Kramer and grandchildren, Ash and Arthur; multiple extended family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his older sister, Janette (Kramer) Perutelli and younger sister, Jeanne (Kramer) Cooper.
A celebration of Bill’s life will take place at 1 pm on Saturday, January 6, 2024, at Hays Hills Baptist Church in Buda, Texas. Visitation and viewing will be from 11-1pm on the 6th. Committal service will take place at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas on Monday, January 8th. In lieu of flowers and in recognition of Bill’s heart for missions and ministry, donations can be made to Hays Hills Baptist Church Missions Fund or Cadence International.