by Jill Ragar Esfeld
OVERLAND PARK — The happy occasion was tinged with sadness when Stan Cramer accepted the Michael and Patty Morrisey Angels Among Us award at this year’s Gaudeamus.
Surrounded by family, he said, “You know when we were selected for this honor some months ago, I could not imagine it would be such a bittersweet moment.
“Sue was so looking forward to this.”
Stan’s wife Suzan passed away on Sept. 20.
“But she would want us all to go on with this work, bigger than ever,” said her husband. “She would want us all to continue to serve the needs of those less fortunate. And so we will.”
Through the volunteer efforts and support of the Cramers, CEF has been able to reach thousands of people with its objective of providing a Catholic education to every child who wants it.
“They’ve told the story of the importance of Catholic education — the story that Catholic education is not just there for those who have the means to pay for it,” said CEF board chair Terry Sexton.
Stan, formerly an investigative journalist for KCTV, served as master of ceremonies at Gaudeamus from 2009 to 2016.
“He’s been the voice of Gaudeamus,” said Sexton. “He spent countless hours editing videos, writing scripts, interviewing the CEF kids.”
Suzan was always at his side, sitting for hours with him scanning video footage for the faces and voices that could give the message of CEF in the clearest and most entertaining way.
In addition, Stan served on the CEF marketing committee and the Gaudeamus committee.
And Suzan was a key volunteer with the Gaudeamus committee, doing everything from stuffing envelopes to cleaning centerpiece vases.
“They worked so tirelessly for the benefit of thousands of kids,” said Sexton. “And we cannot possibly thank them enough for all of their talent and the gifts they’ve shared with us over the years.”
The Cramers, parishioners of St. Michael the Archangel in Leawood, met while attending Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.
They were married for 50 years, and have two married sons and six grandchildren.
Accepting the award, Stan thanked CEF patrons for all the opportunities they provide for children to have a quality Catholic education.
“Over the years, we’ve seen firsthand the result of the works you’re doing,” he said. “Emceeing this event and producing various videos enabled us to meet so many of the families and children who are stronger in their faith because of you.”
He acknowledged all the people who work behind the scenes to make Gaudeamus and CEF successful.
“You shouldn’t be honoring Suzan and me tonight,” he said. “So many others are far more deserving.
“But please accept my sincere thanks and that of our entire family for this honor and for letting us be part of something so great and so rewarding.”