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Richard Howard Kraemer, Lt. Colonel, U.S.A.F. (Ret.)

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(Austin, Waco, Dallas, Fort Worth Texas, USA)

Richard Howard Kraemer, Lt. Colonel, U.S.A.F. (Ret.)

Richard Howard Kraemer, Lt. Colonel, U.S.A.F. (Ret.)

Richard Howard Kraemer, Lt. Colonel, U.S.A.F. (Ret.) and Emeritus Professor of Government at The University of Texas at Austin was born on February 24, 1920, and died on June 11, 2011 at age 91. He was preceded in death by his wife, Georgia Cade Kraemer.

Richard is survived by his daughter Kelley Kraemer Paz and her husband Arthur and son James, his son John Kraemer, his grandson Charles Miller and his wife Emily, nephew Evan Johnson, niece Valerie Nelson, sister-in-law Glenda Cade, and many caring friends. Richard had two careers.

His first was as an officer in the U.S. Army Air Forces and U.S. Air Force from 1942 to 1962. He completed the equivalent of almost three full combat tours in North Africa and Europe in World War II. One of his missions to Greece, on which he was the only navigator to find the target, altered the course of the war in southern Europe.

In 1953 he flew 41 missions of a 50 mission tour in Korea before the armistice was signed in July. In all he logged 1,600 hours flying time in the combat zones, possibly a record for American airmen. His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal with eight oak leaf clusters, the Presidential Unit Citation, and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

He was nominated for the British R.A.F. Distinguished Flying Cross and for Yugoslavia's Order of the Partisan Star, but left Europe without knowing whether the awards were made. Retiring from the Air Force in 1962, he entered the Ph.D. program in political science at The University of Texas at Austin and accepted a professorship in his own department in 1965.

He taught full-time for the next 20 years, taught part-time until 2001, and then continued to teach through the Distance Education Center until his 90th birthday. Richard was an authority on collaborative learning (teaching through political games and simulations) and on the teaching of critical thinking.

He pioneered the design and teaching of interdisciplinary courses and the establishment of internship programs. His textbooks on Texas politics and government, co-authored with Professors Charldean Newell and David Prindle, have been the standard in the field since the late 1970s.

His teaching awards include the Jean Holloway award for Excellence in Teaching and a national award from the Arnold Air Society. In 2010, at the age of 90, he published his 25th, his last and by far his most important book, The Secret War in the Balkans, a W.W. II Memoir. All of the major campaigns of World War II have been covered with this one exception. The Secret War in the Balkans . . . is the missing chapter in the history book of World War II.

Richard liked to engage in what he called "enlightened selfishness." He adopted and raised two children; he and Georgia adopted and raised two more children. Together they assisted in the raising of eight others through the Save the Children Foundation. His favorite poem is commonly attributed to Quaker Stephen Grellet: I shall pass this way but once, Any good thing, therefore, that I can do, Any kindness that I can show to any human being, Let me do it now, For I shall not pass this way again.

A service in memory of Richard will be held on Saturday, July 2, 2011, 1:00 p.m., at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, 4700 Grover Ave. Austin, Texas 78756.

In lieu of flowers, he asks that those so inclined make a donation to the Save the Children Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, or their favorite charity.

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