Morris ‘Mitty’ Kramer, environmentalist, 88


Morris “Mitty” Kramer was a low-key kind of guy. He used to dress in muted-colored shirts and blue jeans. He was soft-spoken, self-deprecating and had quite the head of thick silver hair. He didn’t seek out a lot of attention for anything he did, but his impact and dedication surely warranted it.

Kramer died on Sept. 11, at 88, with his family by his side.

He grew up in the Bronx and spent his childhood summers in Long Beach. He moved to the barrier island after graduating from Syracuse University. He ended up meeting his future wife, Ronni Kaman of Long Beach, at the beach. They married shortly after in 1983 at a family house in Westbury. The two lived together in Kramer’s mother’s old home in Atlantic Beach.

“He was just a great guy,” Kaman said. “He could and would help anybody. Anybody who had a cause, he got involved and helped.”

Kramer, in one word, was an activist. He did a lot. He taught business in New York City public schools for about a decade and a half before retiring in 1997. He was also an accountant, stockbroker and investment banker.

He also took numerous environmental issues head-on. He took on issues from Watergate to sewage-sludge dumping in the Atlantic to global warming. For about 20 years from the 1970s to the 1990s, Kramer investigated the beaches of Atlantic Beach and Long Beach in search of hypodermic needles and sewage sludge that solidified on disposable pens and bottle caps.

“He was an activist, an environmentalist and very much in saving the beaches,” Kaman said. “He wanted to stop things from happening that would destroy the ocean.”

He loved where he and his wife lived. He wanted it to stay intact forever.

Kramer also went before the Supreme Court in 1969. He personally didn’t have any property or any children in Lawrence schools, so, he couldn’t vote in a school district election. Although, he lived in Atlantic Beach, which falls into the Lawrence School District. He felt that violated his constitutional rights. The battle made the New York Times.

Kramer was all about protecting and saving his local communities.

“Everybody came to him for help,” Kaman said. “He was invited to Point Lookout to speak a few times about saving Long Island even though we weren’t from there.”

He was predeceased by his brother Dr. Noah Kramer, and his sister, Ruth. Kramer will have his ashes spread by the jetties in Atlantic Beach, as he wanted. Kaman will be keeping some for herself.