René Maurice Kraemer
February 10, 1953 - March 10, 2021
René Maurice Kraemer, age 68, of Newark, DE, passed away on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. He was born in Oswego, NY, on February 10, 1953, to the late Maurice Kraemer and Rose Mary (Barbasso) Kraemer.
In 1952, René’s mother returned to Oswego to help her sister, Carmela (Aunt Mala) who had broken her leg and needed some help during and after her pregnancy with Rosemary (Rose). She stayed in Oswego until after René was born. Luckily for the sisters, their living arrangement offered the benefits of motherly support each of them needed. Hence, the close bond between cousins, Rosemary and Aunt Mala, and Rosemary with René’s mom.
René’s father was in the Air Force, so the family moved around frequently on various assignments. After a short time in Oswego, they moved to Texas. René’s family also lived in Japan, California, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maine. When his father did a short stint in Alaska, the family opted not to follow. They’d had enough of the cold weather while in Oswego. In the beginning, René hung his diaper in upstate New York, but in the end, he hung his hat in Delaware. As an adult, he also spent time in Washington and Pennsylvania.
When René first moved to Delaware in the mid-1960s with his mom and brothers, their apartment complex had a pool. Summers at the pool were filled with swimming and playing board games, the favorite being Mille Bornes. For several years, we had wonderful summers at the pool.
René was artistically inclined in the fields of writing, acting, singing, and painting. He started acting in high school, and was quite the star at Christiana High School, where he graduated in 1971. René continued his acting career in local amateur theatre groups.
In the 1970’s, he started acting at the Candlelight Dinner Theatre, where he also waited tables and directed. When René moved to Pennsylvania in the 1980s, be began acting for the Longhorne Players. When he moved back to Delaware during the 2000s, he joined Main Street Players. René did at least one risqué play, and was not shy about letting family and friends attend that production.
He met his friend, Susan “Sue” Stroman, of Wilmington, DE, at the Candlelight Dinner Theatre, who is now a theatre producer, choreographer, performer, and film director. René kept in touch with Susan, and occasionally attended one of her shows when she was in New York City. He loved New York City and Broadway.
René also loved to paint; he followed his Aunt Mala in that area. His small apartment contained finished and unfinished paintings, one of them being Birds on a Branch, intended for his cousin Rose. When he retired, painting was one of the key activities he wanted to pursue.
René was an avid reader of many types of books, and owned books galore in hardback, paperback and digital versions. He could never resist stopping at a book store. On one of the treks he made to Oswego with Rose and Aunt Mala, he left a local corner bookstore with at least 6 books, vowing to return the next year - he went back the next day! At times, René would have two or three books started at once, and would often give book recommendations to his friends.
In high school, he liked to write short stories. When René joined a social media site a few years back, he would write lengthy posts that were worthy of book publication. He thought about entering the world of book publishing, and may have pursued this endeavor in retirement.
Movies were another one of René’s favorite pastimes. He enjoyed watching them on the big screen, through one of his service providers, or DVD. Whenever he would spend Thanksgiving or Christmas with Rose, he always had a movie he wanted to share with her. The most recent movie was “Boys in the Band.”; René wanted to see the Broadway play, but his health at that time prevented him from going and taking Rose along.
He was also an animal lover, and had dogs growing up (Frenchy, a Poodle, Pepsi, a black Lab, and Cleo, a Dalmatian) but then became enamored with cats. René and Mark owned several feline companions at one time. Most recently, René helped Rose feed some local homeless kitties (Morris, Sammy, Gracie, Mister, Fluffy, and Tux).
He loved a good meal, a good glass of wine, and spending time with family and friends. René was great at storytelling, and he had many tales to tell; stories of where he lived, shows he acted in or directed, gatherings or parties, trips or excursions, or just life in general. When he visited Aunt Mala at Somerford Assisted Living, the residents in the dining room looked forward to his visits, since René always had a story or two for them.
Retirement had been on his mind. Although René worked from home, he wanted to spend more time painting, going on a cruise, and taking a train ride to Florida. Maybe even working with a theatre group again.
René will be dearly missed, and always remembered for his creative spirit, goodwill, and zest for life.
He is survived by his brothers, Leon (Gale, deceased) and George (Mary); nephews, Leon, Tim, John and James; niece, Shanna; very close cousin, Rosemary (Roger) Mullins; cousins, Ryan and Jonathan; and former partner and very dear friend, Mark Coassolo.
Service and interment will be held privately.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in René’s memory to Faithful Friends Animal Society, 12 Germay Drive, Wilmington, Delaware 19804.