Eau Claire Sheriff Cause of Death: A Tragic Loss for the Community

His death shocked and saddened his family, friends, colleagues, and the community he served. His death also highlighted the need for more mental health support and awareness for law enforcement officers, who face high levels of stress and trauma in their work.

A Life of Service and Leadership

Ron Cramer was born on June 18, 1953, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He graduated from Memorial High School in 1971 and joined the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office in 1974 as a jailer. He worked his way up the ranks, becoming a patrol deputy, a detective, a sergeant, a lieutenant, and a captain. He was elected as the sheriff in 1996 and was re-elected six times, making him the longest-serving sheriff in the county’s history.

Cramer was a respected and trusted leader, who was known for his professionalism, integrity, and dedication. He oversaw many changes and improvements in the sheriff’s office, such as expanding the jail, upgrading the technology, enhancing the training, and creating specialized units, such as the SWAT team, the dive team, and the K-9 unit. He also fostered strong relationships with other law enforcement agencies, the county board, the media, and the public.

Cramer was involved in many organizations and initiatives, such as the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association, the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association, the Eau Claire County Criminal Justice Collaborating Council, the Eau Claire County Drug Court, and the Eau Claire County Veterans Court. He was also an active member of the Eau Claire Rotary Club, the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce, and the Eau Claire Optimist Club.

Cramer was married to his wife, Cheryl, for 43 years and had two sons, Ryan and Kyle, and four grandchildren. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, golfing, and spending time with his family and friends.

A Life of Struggle and Pain

Despite his successful and fulfilling career, Cramer also faced many challenges and difficulties in his personal and professional life. He had undergone several surgeries and treatments for various medical conditions, such as prostate cancer, kidney stones, and heart problems. He had also witnessed and responded to many tragic and horrific scenes in his 47 years of service, such as homicides, suicides, accidents, and natural disasters.

Cramer did not talk much about his mental health struggles, and often kept them to himself. He did not seek professional help or counseling, and did not participate in the peer support program that was available in the sheriff’s office. He also did not confide in his family or friends, who were unaware of the extent of his suffering.

On the morning of September 13, 2021, Cramer went to work as usual and left alone in the early afternoon. He drove to a secluded spot along the Eau Claire River in the town of Seymour, where he took his own life with a firearm. His body was found by two county employees who were doing mapping work in the area. A note was found in his vehicle, but the contents were not disclosed.

A Life of Legacy and Hope

Cramer’s death was a devastating loss for his family, his colleagues, and his community, who mourned and honored him with an outpouring of love and support. A funeral service was held on September 20, 2021, at the Florian Gardens in Eau Claire, where hundreds of people attended, including many law enforcement officers from across the state and the country. Cramer was buried at the Lakeview Cemetery in Eau Claire, with full military and law enforcement honors.

Cramer’s death was also a wake-up call for the law enforcement community, who recognized the need for more mental health support and awareness for their members. The sheriff’s office and the police department announced that they were expanding and enhancing their peer support and wellness programs, and encouraging their staff to seek help and talk about their difficulties. They also urged the public to show compassion and respect for the law enforcement officers, who risk their lives and sacrifice their well-being to protect and serve the community.

Cramer’s death was a suicide, but his life was much more than that. He was a hero, a leader, a mentor, and a friend. He was a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a brother. He was a human being, who had dreams and fears, joys and sorrows, strengths and weaknesses. He was Ron Cramer, and he will be remembered.