Heaven gained one of the most beautiful souls God ever placed on this earth. Our wife, mom, grandma, aunt, sister and friend fought hard to come back to us after a recent surgery, but was not able to overcome the struggles. Renee Irene (Paulus) Kramer, 75, of Billings, passed away peacefully with her entire family by her side on Thursday, July 23, 2020. She was born in Harvey, North Dakota, on June 2, 1945, along with her twin brother Roger to Frank and Regina (Wiegel) Paulus.
Renee grew up on a farm along with her eight brothers and sisters outside of Drake, North Dakota. She graduated from Drake High School in 1963. She then attended and graduated from St. Mary’s School of Nursing in Pierre, South Dakota, in 1964 and began working at St. Aloysius Hospital in Harvey. She married Duane Kramer in Drake on May 1, 1965. Shortly after they were married, they moved to Great Falls, where they had three children: son Gregory, daughter Brenda and son Douglas. While in Great Falls, she also worked as an LPN at Deaconess Hospital.
In 1974, Duane and Renee moved their family to Billings, where she lived until her death. Renee worked part-time for Hennessy’s Department store for 20 years.
Renee will always be remembered to all of her friends and family as the glue that held us all together. She loved her family more than anything and absolutely loved being with them. She always would tell everyone that she was the luckiest person because all of her children stayed in Billings to raise their families and gave her the most wonderful grandchildren that she adored.
While raising her family, she was always very active in anything her kids were involved in, instilling this important and wonderful trait in all of her kids. She was a PTA volunteer at Newman School where the kids attended, den mother for Greg, Brownie leader for Brenda, team mom for multiple different sports and teams, President of Mustang Little League, board member for MT District 1 Little League, and volunteered for the Billings Scarlets while Doug played. She was also always hauling all five of her grandkids around when they were little wherever she went, whether she was babysitting them, picking them up from school, attending their school activities or just to pick them up to take them somewhere for a special treat. She made sure that they all knew how much she loved them.
Renee and Duane always opened their home to everyone, where we all enjoyed so many family functions for holidays, birthdays, showers, graduation parties, rehearsal dinners, reunions, annual 4th of July parties, or just to be together for no reason at all. She loved feeding and entertaining all of us and our friends while they were growing up, even now as we are adults. Their house was always the gathering place, and she loved it and would not have had it any other way.
She had many hobbies and talents. She enjoyed doing many different crafting projects, sewing, painting, playing cards, her Bunco group, camping, going to the cabin, gardening, canning in the fall, volunteering, and helping Brenda with and working in the concession stand at Pirtz Field for Legion Baseball. She always loved going on trips, whether it was back to North Dakota to visit family, wherever one of her siblings was living, family weddings, somewhere for a concert, a trip with the “cousins” or the annual trip they recently started with brother and sister-in-law Brian and Vicki. She loved baseball and watching her grandsons playing for the Scarlets. She was proud and always in the stands for all of her kids and grandkids plays, activities, or sporting events. She was known for keeping an immaculate home, making “nests” for her grandkids, and being a great cook.
We all take comfort in knowing she is at peace with her parents and her beloved dogs Amber and Simon now. Until we are with you again, Mom, we all look forward to seeing you in our dreams and taking a long walk with you on the beach.
Renee is preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Regina Paulus; her in-laws, John and Cecelia Kramer; and brother-in-law Patrick Kramer. She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Duane, and their three children, son Gregory, daughter Brenda Sommerville (Jim), and son Douglas (Angela), all of Billings. She also is survived by five grandchildren, Shawn (Mary) Kramer, Billings; Tiffany (Ken) Brewer, Ballantine; Miranda (Jacob) Roney, Billings; Elijah Sommerville, Belgrade; and Cole Kramer, Billings; her four great-grandchildren, Lily and Katherine Kramer, Morgan and Lane Brewer, with the fifth, baby Sommerville, due in December. She is also survived by all of her siblings. Patricia (Bob) Richter, Minot, North Dakota; Roger Paulus, Drake, North Dakota; Rick (Carolyn) Paulus, Scottsdale, Arizona; Mary Kay (Mike) Tasker, Peachtree City, Georgia; Frankie (Marcella) Paulus, Moorhead, Minnesota; Blain (Julie) Paulus, Fargo, North Dakota; Irene Berndt, Egan, Minnesota; and Jim Paulus, Denhoff, North Dakota. As well as her brother and sisters-in-law, Jim (Rose) Kramer, Great Falls; Irene Kramer, Velva, North Dakota; and Brian (Vicki) Kramer, Ritzville, Washington; along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, and countless friends who will miss her very much.
A private family service will be held the morning of Wednesday, July 29, with burial to follow. An open Celebration of Life will be held, also Wednesday, at 2 p.m., at the Columbia Club (formerly the Knights of Columbus), 2216 Grand Ave., Billings. Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary is handling the arrangements and cremation has taken place.
A livestream of the service will be available at https://www.facebook.com/michelottisawyers/ beginning at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 29.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Yellowstone County Animal Shelter or to a charity of choice.