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Published: Thursday, 5/13/2004

Doctor helped save life of young diver

Dr. John G. Kramer, 71, a Toledo physician who practiced family medicine for over 40 years in the city and was a staff member of St. Luke's Hospital, died Saturday in his South Toledo home.

Dr. Kramer had been in poor health for the past five years and was diagnosed with cancer, his stepdaughter Brandy Maples said.

"If people couldn't pay part of their bill, then he would just write it off. He knew that they still needed a doctor," Mrs. Maples said. "That's the kind of doctor he was."

Dr. Kramer, a Swanton native, received his bachelor's degree from University of Toledo in 1953 and his doctor of medicine from Northwestern University in 1957. He opened a private practice on Glanzman Road in Toledo in 1958 after spending a year working with the late Dr. Charles Marlowe. In 1984, he moved his practice to South Detroit Avenue in Maumee.

In 1962, Dr. Kramer played a major role in saving the life of a 15-year-old boy who had the bends from rising too quickly while diving in a Whitehouse quarry. Dr. Kramer, who was the medical director of the Neptune Knights Skin Diving Club of Toledo, devised a plan to fly the boy to a U.S. Navy submarine docked at the Detroit waterfront that had a decompression chamber.

"He was very principled," said longtime friend Bill Weyandt. "He stuck to his guns whenever he was right, and he was right most of the time."

He also volunteered as the football team physician at Bowsher High School from 1962 to 1974. He retired from medicine in the mid-1990s.

Surviving are his wife, Sue Kramer; sons, Kevin and Jeffery Kramer; daughters, Ann and Tammy Kramer; stepson, Fred Myers; stepdaughter, Brandy Maples, and 13 grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Maison-Dardenne-Walker Funeral Home, Maumee.

The family suggests tributes to the Toledo Animal Shelter or the Toledo Zoo.



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