Remembering Dale Cramer

Sounders FC looks back at everything Dale Cramer did for the organization on the day the facilities manager at Virginia Mason Athletic Center died of complications from the cancer he was battling.

Dale Cramer was not officially an employee of Sounders FC. But he never let that stop him from treating the team’s players, as well as the players of teams they would play, like family.

As the facilities manager at Virginia Mason Athletic Center, Cramer would make sure soccer players felt at home whenever they used the Seahawks’ headquarters on the shores of Lake Washington in Renton.

“When the Sounders initially started, we did a lot of training at VMAC until our facility at Starfire was done,” said Bart Wiley, vice president of business operations for Sounders FC. “So Dale was readily available, encouraging, extremely helpful.

 “And when we had international teams come in to train at VMAC throughout the course of the years – in Chelsea and Barcelona and Manchester United – Dale and his crew were absolutely fantastic. We got rave reviews from those international teams about Dale and the way he treated them.”

Cramer, 65, died early Thursday morning of complications from the cancer he had been battling.

“We’re certainly sad and the Sounders certainly feel the loss,” Wiley said. “We’ll certainly miss Dale and all he did for our organization.”

That was Cramer and his bigger-than-life personality, which included a willingness to do whatever was needed for whoever needed it.

“We lost a very valuable part of our community,” said Gary Wright, senior vice president of Sounders FC and a longtime Seahawks executive before that.

Said Dave Pearson, vice president of communications and broadcasting for Sounders FC, “He was a gentle giant who always made you feel welcome.”