Thursday, June 21, 2012

Aviation pioneer Vern Kraemer dies at 95

Vern Kraemer (1917-2012)
We are sorry to report the death of Luverne "Vern" Kraemer.  He died yesterday (6/20/12) at the age of 95 in Rapid City.   

The husband of LCHS vice-president Norma Kraemer, Vern Kraemer was a South Dakota aviation pioneer.  Born in Parker, South Dakota, Kraemer spent his early years in Wood -- and later Nemo.  And while he was first trained as a blacksmith, it was aviation that captured his imagination and attention -- a fascination that lasted more than eight decades.

Kramer earned his pilot's license in 1940 at the Spearfish airport, where he later worked as a mechanic for another aviation pioneer, Clyde Ice.  Your can read much more about this remarkable man in this Vern Kraemer online obituary.

During World War II, Kraemer was a mechanic and pilot with the Civil Air Patrol's Coastal Patrol.  Sixty years ago, after working as a mechanic for Boeing Aircraft and later as a commercial pilot, mechanic and flight instructor, he built the first licensed home-built aircraft in South Dakota.  That American Triwing aircraft is now  exhibited in the terminal building at Rapid City Regional Airport.  That aircraft -- and Vern Kraemer -- were recently the subjects of considerable media coverage, including this story and video carried by the Rapid City Fox News affiliate, KEVN. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with Norma Kraemer and all of the Kraemer family during this difficult time.