Rita Kramer

Rita Kramer, of Peconic Landing, died peacefully in her sleep before dawn on July 21, 2023. She was 94.

Rita was born on April 30, 1929, and raised in the Midwest. After graduation with honors from the University of Chicago, she freelanced as a copy editor for several New York publishing houses.

In a writing career spanning over 30 years, she authored seven books, several of which can still be found on the shelves of Suffolk County libraries, including “Maria Montessori: A Biography,” “Ed School Follies: The Miseducation of America’s Teachers” and “Flames in the Field: The Story of Four SOE Agents in Occupied France.”

Her articles and reviews appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune, American Heritage, Commentary, City Journal, and The Quarterly Journal of Military History.

While traveling in France in the 1980s, Rita visited the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp in Alsace, where she noticed a plaque commemorating four female agents of the British Special Operations Executive, who had been captured by the Germans and executed there in 1944.

The result was “Flames in the Field,” which went beyond the resistance activities of its four heroines to their ultimate betrayal by the secret organization to which they belonged. Although the book was published when much of the documentation crucial to the story was still classified under the British Official Secrets Act, Rita had the unique experience of interviewing some of the key figures involved in the events, several of whom attempted to influence her portrayal of their performance — a pressure to which she never yielded.

Rita is interred with her husband, Yale Kramer, in East Marion Cemetery and is survived by two daughters, Deborah Duerksen, Mimi Kramer-Bryk and son-in-law William Bryk.

This is a paid notice.