Warren C. Kraemer

Kraemer, Warren Christian:

Captain Warren C. Kraemer made his last flight on April 27, 2018 when he died peacefully in Colchester, CT at the age of 96.  His final destination: The pearly gates of Heaven, and yes, God was his copilot.  He was predeceased by his wife, Shirley, of 72 years and his son-in-law, Mike Roche.  He is survived by his three children, Diane, Ken (Gail) and Curt (Ellen), six grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.

Warren was born on November 25, 1921 in Newark, New Jersey and grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey.  He married his high school sweetheart, Shirley, on July 27, 1943, and they moved to Bennettsville, SC, where Warren was a flight instructor for the Army Air Corps during part of WWII.  On July 17, 1944, he started working for American Airlines as a Flight Engineer.  By 1952, Warren was promoted to Captain, and in 1957 he received an award for flying his first 1,000,000 miles.  Warren flew for American Airlines until he retired in 1981.

When Warren first started with American Airlines, he and Shirley moved to California for a short stint, and then returned to NJ where they remained for 68 years, of which 59 were spent in Wyckoff.

Not one to sit still, Warren became active with the local YMCA in the late 1950s when the YMCA was located at the end of Ward Avenue.  Amongst his many tasks, he built nearly 100 picnic tables on his own, and before the day of the power tool, that were used by the YMCA summer camp.  In July 1957, Warren joined the Wyckoff Fire Department.  In the early to mid-1960’s he was one of the members to participate in the Fire Department’s fledgling underwater rescue and recovery team.  As a pilot, Warren was out of town for a few days at time, but would also be at home a few days at a time allowing for him to respond to calls during the day when many volunteers were at work.  There were many times when he brought his young sons with him down to the fire station while he performed maintenance duties.  In April 1998, nearly 41 years after joining, Warren retired from the Fire Department.  Later in life, Warren and Shirley were long time deliverers of Meals on Wheels to local seniors in Wyckoff who were housebound and who welcomed their help and warm conversations.

It was during his volunteer work at the YMCA that Warren noticed a nearby tennis court.  Before long, Warren was playing tennis every Sunday (unless of course he was flying).  Tennis was Warren’s sport.  He took endless lessons and belonged to several tennis clubs.  He made countless friends, and after he retired from American Airlines, there were very few days of the week where he wasn’t on a tennis court.

Warren received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in 2009 and in 2013 he and Shirley moved to an assisted living facility in Connecticut to be close to their son, Curtis. 

The family will receive friends on Saturday, August 11th from 1-3 PM, with a memorial service starting at 2 PM, at the Vander Plaat Funeral Home, www.vpfh.com, 257 Godwin Avenue, Wyckoff, NJ.  Following the service, there will be an interment of Warren and Shirley’s ashes at Wyckoff Reformed Church Cemetery, 580 Wyckoff Avenue, Wyckoff, NJ.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC, 20090-6011.