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Kathy Krammer is five years into retirement, but she spends her time volunteering at the Honolulu Museum of Art as a docent doing adult tours and Wounded Warrior program tours. She is also the chair of the Honolulu Jewish Film Festival and sits on the Temple Emanu El Board of Directors.
Krammer says her life other than her career mirrors the stuff you might read about in books. She and her three siblings had a tough childhood. Their parents were Holocaust survivors and the family lived in different places around the country.
“I am a cat rescuer since small kid time. They are my children,” Krammer adds.
She eventually left home after turning 18 to become a folk singer and went to New York.
“What mindless courage! I ended up in the mountains working with special needs kids and being involved with folkies. That continued for years in Hawaii while I was in college,” she says.
Krammer is a retired medical speech-language pathologist and RN with specialties in neurology and head and neck cancer. She also taught public speaking and interpersonal communication at Honolulu Community College at Hickam Air Force Base as a second job. She also instructed at the University of Hawaii and even worked at the Honolulu Zoo.
“I am not a lazy person and simply see that there are many things that are interesting,” she says.
Krammer says she walked through a small door in 1980 that ended up being the first medical speech-language pathology service in a hospital — home care and outpatient flow of patient care at St. Francis in Hawaii.
“We had contracts with all but two hospitals on Oahu and on of those, Kaiser, hired me to start their own similar programs,” she adds. “I ended my career at Queen’s Medical Center where I got the speech-language pathology outpatient service up and running.”
Krammer also volunteered for years at Hawaii Literacy as a tutor trainer and taught ESL in the subjects of American Business language and culture and American media language.