Gerry Kramer is, without a doubt, the most affable good-humored caretaker in the Lang Nelson organization. Here is the backstory. He and his wife Dawn moved into The Heathers Estates in 2007. Initially, they were “just residents”. Then in 2008, Dawn started working Saturdays in the office. In 2010, Gerry began work for Lang Nelson Senior Transportation driving the grocery van, church van, and any other excursion that needed a driver. In June 2012, Gerry began a new facet of living at The Heathers Estates- caretaking, vacuuming, apartment turns, and you name it. He is a Gerry of All Trades.
In a previous life, Gerry was a machinist at Graco. That’s when he met Dawn, a teacher at Windom Elementary School in Minneapolis and the teacher for one of Gerry’s six children. Their connection was poetic in every sense of the word. Soon, her three children and four of his kids were all in the same house, with “twin” grade school and junior high teenagers with all the excitement and chaos that implies. During their 18 years together, Gerry has also done janitorial work for Marshalls in Richfield, and more recently as an aide for Home Instead Health Care. That’s when the van driver position opened up in Senior Transportation and Gerry jumped in the Lang Nelson pool.
A few months later, Dawn’s Son Evan began driving for LangNelson, in addition to being a student. After graduation, Evan began work in Fargo for the Conservation Corp doing prairie burns. This fall Evan will continue his education at Columbia University in Missouri. So Evan has left Lang Nelson employ, but Dawn still works Saturdays. In addition to being a Mary Kay consultant, Dawn also writes the monthly Newsy News, the unofficial news and trivia paper for The Heathers Estates and creates the monthly community room bulletin board. Dawn also leads two writing groups at Valley Community Presbyterian Church where Gerry is deacon. This fall, Dawn will lead residents in monthly crafty crafts while Gerry has caretaking duties every day, still drives the Monday grocery run, and is basically on-call 24/7 for our appreciative residents who know that he is a holler away down the hall.
Gerry’s spare time is spent in his train room, a transformed garage. He is a more than avid model train fanatic. In fact, his email address is iamatrainnut. And he is a contagious train nut spreading the fever to his Men’s Night card playing buddies. Last year he hosted a Train Station Open House which was well-received by our residents. This fall, we will have another Train Station Open House which will highlight both North and South train stations, South by Gerry and North by Bruce Erickson, a Men’s Group member, fellow resident and train nut.
If you’d like to live in a warm and welcoming neighborhood that enjoys a resident caretaker and bus driver in our midst, call 763-544-1220 for Judy Brown, the housing manager at The Heathers Estates, 2900 Douglas Drive N., Crystal.
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The Heather Estates
2900 N. Douglas Dr.
Crystal MN. 55422