Adolph B. Cramer Jr. of Palm Beach, Southampton and New York City died December 19 from complications of a car accident in October. Known as Dolph, Mr. Cramer was 86.
Born in 1927 in New York City to Adolph and Lillian Cramer, he was a fourth-generation New Yorker whose grandfather was a Tammany Hall politician and developer of parking garages in the 1900s, one of which the family still owns in Manhattan. He attended Hunter Elementary School, Mamaroneck High School and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1950. Mr. Cramer enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a radar operator on a destroyer escort during World War II. He worked in the mining business, serving as the marketing director for the Bolivian Tin Company, living in LaPaz, Bolivia, at the time. On returning to the U.S. he was founding president of Shamrock Metals in New York City, a subsidiary of Transamine S.A., a European metals and trading company, and acted as agent for the Swiss Gold Refinery in Neuchatel, Switzerland.
On retiring from the metals business, Mr. Cramer joined Gruppo Levey, a boutique investment bank, advising catalog companies. An avid skier, he learned to ski at Dartmouth and was an original stockholder of Sugarbush and of Ski Club 10 in Warren, Vermont. He earned his “million foot suit” from Canadian Mountain Holidays helicopter skiing in Canada and was founder of the Green Mountain Tomato War. He had ski houses in Warren, Vermont, and Edwards, Colorado.
A longtime resident of Southampton, Mr. Cramer loved his garden at Post Crossing; croquet and tennis at the Meadow Club of Southampton, where he chaired the Croquet Committee and the annual Meadow Club Croquet Invitational Tournament; sailing his 19-foot Cape Dory Typhoon from the Breakwater Yacht Club in Sag Harbor; the Fourth of July parades and lunches on the porch at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. Most of all, he loved driving his Model T Fords, survivors said. He bought his first Lizzie in 1947, and in 2009 he drove that Lizzie cross country in the Ocean to Ocean in a Model T, recreating the first cross-country race in 1909 won by Henry Ford’s Model T. He participated in tours in Vermont, Nantucket, Pennsylvania and was looking forward to a Connecticut tour in 2014.
Mr. Cramer moved to Palm Beach in 2005, and drove his Model T in the Centennial parade, to the Everglades Club, the Beach Club, the Old Guard Society and the National Croquet Club and was a former director of the Croquet Foundation of America. He also was a poet, and his collected works, “Rhymes,” were published in 1996.
He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Beatty Page Cramer, his in-laws, Ferrell and Chi McClean of Florida, Colorado and Locust Valley; niece, Ferrell Page McClean; and nephew, William Chichester McClean IV. He also leaves behind his cockapoo, Dixie.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, February 2, at 2 p.m. at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in West Palm Beach, Florida. A service will be held in Southampton in June. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Quattlebaum Funeral Home in Palm Beach.
Memorial donations may be made to Foxcroft School, P.O. Box 5555, 22407 Foxhound Lane, Middleburg, VA 20118.