The leader of the world’s largest gathering of radio amateurs in Dayton died

Ronald Eugene Kramer, who was known for his leadership in moving the Dayton Hamvention from the former Hara Arena to the Green County Fairgrounds, died Saturday, March 11.

He was 75.

A native of Dayton, Kramer was born on August 15, 1947 to Donald and Delight (Brooks). He is survived by his 49-year-old wife, Liz (Anne Mergler) Kramer. Liz describes her husband as “the sweetest man I’ve ever met.”

“He was accommodating and very patient, though not flippant,” she said.

Liz met Ron in the early 1970s when they were both working for Siebenthaler. Shortly after leaving the company in 2009, Ron plunged into the world of amateur radio.

“It came to me out of the blue, but he said he had been thinking about it for a long time,” Liz said. “He had a great time…he was really able to spread his wings and fly and I was so glad he had the opportunity.”

Ron was Vice President and President of the Dayton Amateur Radio Association and from 2017 to 2018 was Chairman of the Dayton Hamvention, one of the world’s largest annual ham radio gatherings.

According to DARA President Jack Gerbs, Kramer was instrumental in moving Hamvention in 2017 to its current venue at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, after previously hosting the Hara Arena for over five decades.

“I was deputy general manager of Hamvention and assistant to Ron the year we moved him to Xenia,” Gerbs said. “It was a busy time, but it was also a very interesting time for the team.”

Herbs said Kramer’s dedication to the amateur radio community is unmatched.

“There is no way to replace Ron. He was a hardworking, driven, wonderful person who had a positive impact on everyone he met,” he said. “His only fault is that he never said no.

Kramer has also been a volunteer with the US national amateur radio association, the American Radio Relay League.

“Ron was a good friend of ARRL and one of the kindest and most dedicated volunteers I have known in my years as an amateur radio operator,” said Bob Inderbitzen, ARRL director of marketing and innovation. “Ron has supported ARRL’s participation in Hamvention for many years. Most recently, he coordinated Hamvention’s interest in hosting the 2024 ARRL National Convention. He will be close to the hearts and minds of many of us as the convention is being planned. I will miss him very much.”

Kramer is also survived by his sister Pam (Steve) Underwood, brother Jody (Diana) and many cousins, nephews and nieces.

Kramer was buried in Woodland Cemetery. The family asks Kramer’s friends to send flowers to someone you love or donate to your favorite charity or scholarship fund to honor his memory.

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