Donald James Kraemer, 85, of Riverside, died on Thursday, December 31, 2020, of cardiac arrest brought on by COVID-19.
Don was born on July 30, 1935, to Lawrence Prudencio and Kathleen Kraemer in Fullerton, CA. After graduating from Fullerton High School in 1953, he went on to study business at the University of Notre Dame and then earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Citrus Fruit Production at California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, from which he graduated in 1959.
After graduation, Don worked his father's orange groves in Placentia and later, in 1964 with his brother Larry, planted a citrus grove in the Mockingbird Canyon/Woodcrest area, a labor of love they tended for 38 years.
In 1957, he wed his high-school sweetheart and the love of his life, Mary Ann Bauerlein. The newlyweds lived their first year together at Newport Beach, a place that always made Don feel at home. A man of great faith and a loving husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle, and friend, Don provided support of all kinds, a helping hand, a hearty hug, no-nonsense advice. His family meant more to him than anything else in the world, a theme he often referred to in between the stories he told and the songs he sang.
Don was also an excellent athlete, lettering in three sports in high school and playing freshman basketball at the University of Notre Dame. He coached youth sports, teaching every child the right way to play and playing every child equally, and to the end he maintained a passion for golf. One of his two holes-in-one occurred with several grandchildren present! That memory, like all memories of Don, will always be a blessing.
Preceded in death by his brother Bob and sisters Pat and Jan, Don is survived by Mary Ann, his wife of 63 years, by his brother Larry and sister Karen, and by his children: Don Jr. (Per Maria), Kevin (Evelyn), Julie (Charlie), Greg (Louise), Nancy (Mark), Katie (David), and Patty (Steve). He will be missed by his sixteen grandchildren: Sophia, Samuel, Rose, Zachary, Alexa, Chandler, Luke, Benjamin, Will, Julia Claire, Andrew, Christopher, Henry, Elena, Emily, and Daniel.
Don will also be missed by a very large extended family, including many beloved nieces and nephews, cousins, and in-laws. Don will be laid to rest at a private ceremony at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Orange. A "Celebration of Life" will be held at a later time. In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider memorial donations to Doctors Without
Borders(https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org/onetime), which supports global first responders to emergencies, epidemics, and natural disasters. The family of Don Kraemer is eternally grateful to the healthcare professionals who work tirelessly to comfort patients suffering from the coronavirus and isolated from their families.
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