December 15, 1926 ~ September 26, 2015
Marjorie (Peck) Cramer, 88, died in Hamden on September 26, 2015 of complications related to heart disease. She was the widow of Paul F. Cramer, Jr., and the mother of Atty. Jack O'Donnell of Hamden, and Jayne O'Donnell of McLean, Va. She was born in Coral Gables, Fla. on Dec. 15, 1926 to Horace and Beatrice (Roberts) Peck. She is survived by her sister, Julie McKenna of Hamden. She is also survived by five grandchildren - Sam, Jake, Hank, Maggie and Cate - as well as her daughter-in-law Karen O'Donnell and son-in-law Richard Willing. She was previously married to the late Robert 'Bubby' O'Donnell. After attending Commercial High School, Marge worked as a bookkeeper for many years. Her early years were marked by struggles - even for the Depression - as her father died when she was two years old and her mother was pregnant with her sister. But her mom persevered, working at a clerical job in a factory to support her young children and exhibiting the kind of no-nonsense determination that would be her oldest daughter's most marked characteristic. She loved to read, keeping subscriptions to several newspapers and magazines and at least one historical novel on her coffee table - months after she lost the attention span needed to truly digest them. Until it was too difficult to play either, Marge enjoyed golfing and bridge. She also especially liked going to the Rhode Island beaches with her children and grandchildren - especially when none of them were making her nervous in the waves - travelling with her daughter and going out to dinner with her son. She liked dining at the Olympia Tea Room or the upscale Ocean House while in Watch Hill, RI. Still, when an Ocean House manager asked her what she thought of the food the first time she went, she declared it 'strange.' Two summers ago, when she was seated next to comedian Conan O'Brien and his extended family on the Ocean House patio, she loudly announced she 'never liked him.' So, determined and direct. Her Yankee stoicism was in sharp contrast to her more gregarious and emotional Irish-leaning kids. But as one of their friends said after she learned of Marge's death, 'what I will remember most is how much she laughed when she was with all of you.' She loved cats - beautiful long haired ones, especially - and even tried to cook up a scheme to sneak one into her last no-pets-allowed apartment. Donations in her memory can be made to the Animal Haven in North Haven, Conn. at www.theanimalhaven.com/donate.