1937 – 2020
Walter Robert Kraemer passed away on September 10, 2020 at Riverside Point Convalescent Hospital in Chico, CA at age 83 of Covid 19.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Elizabeth Bentz Kraemer of Taylorsville, CA and his nephew Eddie Cockrell of Balmain, Australia.
Walt was born on June 20, 1937, in Oakland, CA to Walter and Dorothy Kraemer. He is preceded in death by his sister, Dorothy Kraemer Cockrell of Silver Spring, MO.
Walt began his career as a comedy writer for CBS Television and Radio, became co-owner of Imagination, Inc. in 1971 and, the following year, established Walt Kraemer Creative Services. For several years, Walt produced ‘McElhatton in the Morning’ on KCBS in San Francisco.
He has written, produced and directed national and regional radio campaigns for an impressive roster of corporate clients. Among his numerous awards are twelve Clios, the international advertising and design industry’s most prestigious recognition for excellence, and a Grammy.
He was known nationally as the voice of Southwest Airlines when he wrote and performed the famous phrase, “You are now free to move about the country”.
Also in demand in other media, Walt worked on Children’s Television Workshop projects, was the sound and dialogue designer of George Lucas’ animated feature “Twice Upon a Time”, and produced two commercial music libraries.
His “My Nursing Home News” on Facebook had quite a following and he was writing that right up until his last week.
Walt moved from Sausalito after 40 years to his beloved home in Genesee Valley, CA where he continued to create including writing the text for “Wolf Tracks”, narrated by Bill Clinton on the new version of Peter and The Wolf’ ‘ recorded by the Russian National Orchestra. This project received a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children in 2004. He was most proud of having a sandwich named after him at the Old Genesee Store called “The Walt”.
A celebration of Walt’s life will be held when the pandemic ends. Donations in Walt’s name can be made to the Feather River Land Trust, 75 Court St, Quincy, CA 95971. Walt is now free to move about the universe.
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