Heinz Christian Kramp, 89, of Charlottesville, Virginia, died on October 6, 2019. Born on November 21, 1929, in the small farming and fishing town of Schleswig, Germany, he was the son of Mariechen Grauman Kramp and Hugo Kramp, who instilled in him the value of helping others. This mindset would later become his calling and would guide his life's work. In 1939, World War II broke out. Heinz's childhood was brutally cut short, and for six years he witnessed the worst of humanity. After the War, Heinz fulfilled his dream of becoming a professional horse rider and became one of the youngest members of Germany's Olympic Equestrian Team. He was set to participate in the 1952 Olympics before a horrific accident nearly took his life and eliminated him from the Competition. In 1959, he moved to the United States, where he lived for the remainder of his life. Eventually he moved to Chicago, where he used his expertise as a horseman and in 1965, founded the Riding Academy in the south side of Chicago, teaching children from the Inner City to ride. These were young men and women, who daily experienced and witnessed poverty and violence and had never seen a horse in their lives. He taught them to ride, but more importantly, he taught them the transferable life skills of caring and responsibility. At the Riding Academy he also offered a program to bring disabled children and adults together as a way to help them overcome their fears, to build up their self-esteem, and to inspire their confidence. In 1966, he married Alice Parker, formerly Alice Parker Hormel, who already had five children, took them in as his own, and moved the family to Potomac, Maryland. A couple of years later, in 1968, he and Alice had a son, Andrew Grauman Kramp. In 1971, he and his family moved to Charlottesville, Virginia. There, together with the support of a few families from the Washington D.C. area, he founded Innisfree, a residential community for persons with developmental disabilities as well as those with traumatic brain injury. Heinz gave the disabled person a sense of family, a life where they felt included and cared for. He gave them a life of dignity. In 1991, he continued his work with those with disabilities and traumatic brain injury and founded The Bridge, an in-town residential community. Innisfree and the Bridge continue today to serve persons with special needs. Heinz was a dreamer, an idealist, a loving father to six children and a father figure to so many more - a truly kind man who made the world a better place. Heinz is survived by his son, Andrew Grauman Kramp; his daughter-in-law, Kristina Schoenberg; his two grandchildren, Josephine Kramp and August Samuel Kramp; Alice Parker Meador, his ex-wife and dear friend; and his five stepchildren, Alison Hormel Webb, Anne Hormel, Elizabeth Hormel, James Catherwood Hormel, and Sarah Hormel Everett. He is also survived by his nephew, Guido Kramp. A heartfelt appreciation and special thanks for his dear friends, Elizabeth Archer Campbell, Ethna Hopper, Jamie and Steven Olken, and Mario Andrade and his family; eternal gratitude for his care givers, Betzalel "Bitzy" Levi and Rosemarie Trapnell. A heartfelt love and a very special thanks to his closest friend and companion, Kenneth Scott Rosen. They enriched each others' lives immeasurably. A memorial service will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, November 23, 2019, at Monticello Memory Gardens, 670 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy, Charlottesville, VA 22902. A gathering of family and friends will follow the service and will be announced the week prior. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Virginia Institute of Autism, 943 Glenwood Station Ln #201, Charlottesville, VA 22901. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.hillwood.com.

Load entries