Cover photo for Dr. Howard Ross Cramer's Obituary
Dr. Howard Ross Cramer Profile Photo
1925 Dr. Howard 2021

Dr. Howard Ross Cramer

September 17, 1925 — November 6, 2021

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Howard Ross Cramer or “Uncle H” as we called him, on November 6th, 2021 at the age of 96 after a long and blessed life. 

Dr. Cramer was born in Chicago, Illinois to Don William Cramer and Esther Natalia Cramer. He was the second of three sons. He graduated from Admundsen High School early and enrolled in the University of Illinois in January of 1943. Dr. Cramer wanted to get as much of his education underway before he enlisted in the United Sates Army as World War II was well underway by this time.

Dr. Cramer served in both the European and Pacific Theatres of World War II. He served in the 86th Infantry Division (nicknamed the “Black Hawk Division”). While serving, he was awarded a Bronze Star Medal, the fourth-highest ranking award a service member can receive for a heroic and meritorious deed performed in an armed conflict. He was a member of the United Sates Army Reserves (1948 - 1953). 

After his discharge from the war, Dr. Cramer continued his education earning his Bachelor of Science Degree with Honors (1949) and his Master’s Degree (1950) from the University of Illinois. He then earned his PhD from Northwestern University in 1954. He was the recipient of the Holgate prize at Northwestern University in 1953. 

Dr. Cramer began his Geology teaching career at Franklin and Marshall College (1953- 1958) before moving South in 1958 to accept a teaching position at Emory University. Dr. Cramer was employed as an Assistant Professor of Geology (1958 to 1962), an Associate Professor of Geology (1962 to 1976), and Professor of Geology (1976 to 1987), having the honor of serving as the Chairman of the Geology Department (1981 until his retirement in 1987). Yes, he loved rocks. 

For over 30 years during the summer, he would take Geology students out West and to Ringold, Georgia on Field Camps where students would spend up to six weeks studying various aspects of Geology. Many students who attended these Field Camps have come to our family over the years to tell us that it was because of Dr. Cramer that they chose Geology as a Profession. Teaching was something that Uncle H loved and was passionate about. Uncle H also did Consulting in the Geology Industry, but it was the much less lucrative teaching that was his passion.

Uncle H’s second passion was Music. From a very young age, he loved music and through his paper route as a young boy, he earned enough money to buy a used bugle, so he could be the Bugler for his Boy Scout Troop. He then turned his attention to the Trumpet before finally “finding his instrument”, his Bass Violin. Oddly, enough, it was during his military service that he was given a Bass Violin that stayed with him for the next 67 years until he could no longer play. Howard played in a Special Force Platoon that played for parades for his regiment and other military events. After the war, Uncle H played in various Orchestras and after moving to Atlanta, he was associated with the house band at the Old Cherokee Club and traveling Orchestras of Mendel Riley and Bill Brown in every state of the Union east of the Mississippi River except Maine and New Hampshire.

Uncle H married Ardis V. Lahann in 1950 until her death in 1980. In 1982, he married Themis Poulos and converted to the Greek Orthodox Faith.
After retiring from teaching in 1987, he and Themis were fortunate enough to travel the World, and he was so proud to say he had been to all Seven Continents. He and Themis traveled in a program called the Friendship Force where you get to experience a Country by staying with families in that Country and then hosting ones that came to the United States. They absolutely LOVED this.

Dr. Cramer was a member of the American Association of State and Local History, American Federation of Minerology and Lapidary, Association of Petroleum Geologists, National Association of Geology Teachers, Georgia Academy of Science, and a Fellow at Geology Society of America. He was also a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, a Member of AHEPA, and an active member of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral where he sang in the Choir and played in the Orchestra.

He is survived by his brother Mark Cramer (Mary) of Chicago, his Goddaughter (Katherine Poulos Papanikolopoulos) of Atlanta, his Godson George Polychronopoulos of Syracuse, New York, his Godson Daniel Bridger of Marietta, GA, his niece Jennifer Cramer of Chicago, his niece Janice Cramer Grana of Chicago, his nephew Michael Cramer of Springfield, Ohio, his nephew Peter J. Cramer of Austin, Texas, his niece Dianne Cramer Rafferty of Houston, his nephew Paul Dry of Racine, WI, his nephew Michael Dry of Lake City, FLA, and his nephew Michael Dry of Racine, WI as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews by marriage in Greece, Canada, and Australia.

The Trisagion Service will be held on Wednesday, November 10th, 2021 at A.S. Turner and Sons, located @ 2773 N. Decatur Road, Decatur, Georgia, 30033, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. 

The Funeral will be held on Thursday, November 11th, 2021 @ 10:00 at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral located at 2500 Clairmont Rd, Atlanta, GA 30329. 

 Internment will be at Floral Hills Memorial Gardens, located @ 3000 Lawrenceville Highway Tucker , GA 30084. 

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that any contributions in honor of Dr. Cramer be made to: The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral Benevolent Fund. 

May his Memory Be Eternal!

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Howard Ross Cramer, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Church Service

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Greek Cathedral of the Annunciation

2500 Clairmont Road, Atlanta, GA 30329

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