After working at Fermilab for 37 years, Brian Kramper launched a second career as a massage therapist.
“It’s like the other end of the spectrum,” said Kramper, who worked as a programmer in the Accelerator Division until he retired in December. “I enjoy helping people heal themselves.”
Helping people is something Kramper excelled at while at Fermilab.
One of his earliest positions was as a liaison between the operators running experiments and others at the laboratory. At the time there were as many as 10 to 15 experiments that required 24-hour operation. Kramper’s job was to filter information so the operators could do their jobs without being inundated with questions and requests. He also gave the Director’s Office a daily update on all of the experiments.
His most recent work involved reducing the time needed to columnate the beam in the Tevatron from two hours down to only 10 minutes.
His expertise will be missed, said Dennis Nicklaus, a systems analyst and colleague of Kramper.
“He was a great guy to work with and he was very sincere with everyone,” Nicklaus said. “You don’t realize how much you rely on someone until they aren’t there.”
Kramper, 63, will adjust fine to retirement. He’s no stranger to change. At Fermilab, he was one of the first occupants of Wilson Hall in what is now the cafeteria and remembers driving throughout the laboratory on gravel roads. He earned degrees in physics and computer science, but then pursued a master’s degree in theology from Northern Baptist Seminary and five years ago started practicing massage therapy.
“I’m looking forward to retirement and to building my massage therapy practice,” he said.
But it won’t be all work and no play during Kramper’s retirement. He has two children and a grandchild in the Rockford area who he hopes to spend time with. And he’s going to be hitting the links regularly.
“I’m going to play more golf. I love to play golf,” he said, emphatically.
— Victoria Pierce