Renaming of Manchester Aquatic Center honors longtime mayor and wife

Updated: May. 29, 2021 at 11:06 PM CDT
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MANCHESTER, Iowa (KCRG) - Manchester’s Aquatic Center is now the Milt and Joanne Kramer Aquatic Center, honoring Mayor Milt Kramer and his wife Joanne, and their decades of service to the community.

Milt Kramer first came to Manchester as a teacher and coach, not intending to stay long. “I taught four years at Fayette, and then I got a call to come down here and be head boys basketball coach, so I came down here in 1963, come to stay a few years, and I’m still here,” says Kramer.

He started his political career in Manchester in 1970, serving on the city council. Now, at 84-years-old, he’s in his 14th term as mayor, possibly the longest serving mayor in Iowa.

Tim Vick, the city manager for Manchester, described Kramer as a “brick foundation” in the community, saying “He is out there being the face of our community, he’s the ambassador for us.”

Dozens gathered on Friday at the newly renamed Milt and Joanne Kramer Aquatic Center, honoring Kramer and his wife, at one of his favorite spots. Coworkers who spoke at the ceremony say Kramer can often be found at the pool, talking with families and telling stories.

Kerry Johnson is Milt and Joanne’s oldest daughter. She says she was in middle school when her dad first got involved in local politics. “It’s very very special, to be able to see their names up there on the front of the building, honoring them for a city that they love,” says Johnson. Several generations of Kramer’s family were present at the ceremony to celebrate Milt and Joanne.

Kramer says, more than 50 years of service later, it’s the people of Manchester that’s kept him there. ”It’s been a long career, and I’ve enjoyed it,” says Kramer.

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