Love, Logging and Legacy
December 14, 2022
Through named endowments, stories about the contributions of individual Alaskans are remembered and retold forever. The Clarence and Verle Kramer Memorial Endowment, established by their children, honors the history of a family who loved Sitka and helped shape the state’s logging industry.
In the late 1920s, both Clarence and Verle started college in Bellingham, met, and fell in love. Both were forced to leave college because of the financial impact of the stock market crash of 1929. Clarence returned to a logging career that he began at 14 and worked his way to Alaska, eventually becoming president of Alaska Lumber and Pulp in 1970.
Clarence was a recognized leader in the timber industry, including being named Alaskan of the Year by the State Chamber of Commerce in 1977. Verle was a naturalist who picked berries and mushrooms, loved wildlife and the quiet of forests.
Earnings from the Clarence and Verle Kramer Memorial Endowment, a permanent endowment, are being used to support summer interns working and studying in the Tongass National Forest. As the fund grows, it will eventually provide for a professorship in the field of forestry at UAS.
Clarence and Verle’s son Lee wrote in a note to his nieces and nephews that Southeast Alaska “is where Clarence and Verle thrived, made a home, and where we think it is appropriate to leave a legacy in their name.”