Merla Lew Kramer

Merla Lew Kramer passed away on June 10, 2019. Visitation will be held at Memorial Baptist Church, 600 W Sterling Ave, Baytown, TX 77520 at 9:30 am on Friday, June 14, 2019. Funeral service will begin at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Earthman Memory Gardens Cemetery. Words of comfort may be shared with the family at www.navarrefuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the GCCISD Education Foundation (GCCISD Education Foundation, P.O. Box 8081, Baytown, TX 77522) in support of childhood education and literacy or to the charity of your choosing.

Merla Lew Riddle was born on October 18, 1942 in Mt. Pleasant, Texas.  

She grew up all things Mt. Pleasant and East Texas and was the Drum Major of the Mt. Pleasant Fighting Tiger Band.  

She went on to the University of Texas and became a diehard Longhorn. 

Upon her graduation, she accepted a job in Baytown, Texas at Horace Mann Junior High School.  It was in Baytown that she found her passion for teaching and also found her true love, Ron Kramer and all things Gander.

Merla and Ron (who preceded her in death) were lifelong educators in Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District.  

Merla taught at Horace Mann Junior High, Robert E. Lee High School, and Goose Creek Memorial High School. Her area of focus was English, from a subject matter perspective, but her specialization was in getting her students to push themselves beyond the literal and into the interpretative value of any piece of literature.  

This was her true gift . . . and no doubt, her favorite piece to teach was To Kill A Mockingbird. The lessons learned related to life and understanding from this book and her will to teach this to her students is her true legacy as a teacher. No doubt, she saw pieces of Atticus Finch, Scout, Jem, and Boo Radley in all of her students and colleagues. 

Merla was just as much the leader of the Gander Coaches Wives.  

She was the consummate Gander fan and loved and supported all of her fellow coaches wives.  She supported not only the wives, but she was a faithful supporter of their children.  In all ways, she was “Mother Goose.”

Even after her retirement, Merla continued to “teach.” 

She would speak with friends and colleagues on a daily basis and would continuously ask questions, suggest options for critical assessment, and was always available to help with improving educational opportunities for students.  

Merla was preceded in death by her parents, Lewis and Merle (Greathouse) Riddle and her husband, Ron Kramer.  

She is survived by her two sons, Kyle and his wife Jane and Scott and his wife Claire.  She is also survived by her two grandchildren, Olivia and Philip.  

She is also survived by her cousin Ann Swann and her nieces, Kay Smith and Lou Ann Martin, and her nephew, Mark Kramer.  

In addition, she is survived by the remaining Gander Coaches Wives family – Linda Bosse, Billie Thompson, Paula Groberg, Laura Kellner, Shirley Wright, Annabeth Herrington and so many others.  

Services to celebrate Merla’s life will be held at Memorial Baptist Church in Baytown on Friday, June 14.  Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. and services will begin at 11:00 a.m.  

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the GCCISD Education Foundation (GCCISD Education Foundation, P.O. Box 8081, Baytown, TX 77522) in support of childhood education and literacy or to the charity of your choosing.