Remembering Dale Cramer

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March 24, 2014

Dale Cramer and his family

Dale Cramer and his family

The Seattle Seahawks are saying goodbye to a man who was like a grandfather to many of the players. The team’s long-time facilities manager, 65-year-old Dale Cramer, lost his battle with cancer on Thursday, March 20. Almost immediately, Seahawks players past and present started tweeting about how much they’ll miss him.

Russell Wilson’s tweet said, “We will miss you Dale Cramer. You will forever be a major part of our Seahawks hearts. We love you and will be forever grateful.” Pete Carroll said in his tweet, “So sad about the passing of Dale Cramer, a true great in our Seahawks family. His spirit will live on at VMAC and on our team.”

Earl Thomas, Doug Baldwin, Walter Jones, Matt Hasselbeck, and many more also tweeted out their condolences.

At Seahawks headquarters, the 12 flag flew at half-mast in Cramer’s honor; it was Dale who also proudly raised that flag every day.

“He was a special man,” said Seahawks equipment manager Erik Kennedy, who considered Cramer a close friend. “He touched so many players and coaches. He’ll never be forgotten here.”

Cramer had been with the Seahawks since 2007. Although he was diagnosed with cancer in July of 2013, he still made it to almost every single game last season, even when the illness started taking its toll. His colleagues say he wanted nothing more than to see the Seahawks win a Super Bowl, and he was able to travel with the team when they did just that on February 4 against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.

“It’s great that he had a chance to partake in all the festivities,” said Maurice Kelly, a former Seahawks player who is now the team’s Director of Player Development. “You look back and it’s even more precious now.”

Dale holds the Seahawks' Lombardi Trophy

Dale holds the Seahawks’ Lombardi Trophy

Both Kelly and Kennedy say Cramer was someone you could rely on for anything. He could fix any and every piece of equipment, and would do anything to help a player in need.

“He was the nicest human being that anybody has ever met,” said Kennedy. “I know people say that, but this man truly had the biggest heart of anybody I’ve ever met.”

Dale leaves behind a wife, two adult children, and a granddaughter, with a second grandchild due to arrive later this year.

In lieu of flowers, his family has requested donations be made in his honor to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Crown Hill Methodist Church, or The Union Gospel Mission.

There will be a gathering of friends and family at the Nile Shrine Golf Center in Mountlake Terrace on Sunday, April 6th, to celebrate and honor Dale. A brief program will start at 4:30 pm, after which people are invited to stay, chat, and enjoy some of Dale’s favorite snacks. As this is a “celebration” and not a funeral, people attending are asked to wear either Seahawks apparel or blue and green.