KRAMER, Zachary J. "Zack"
Age 32, formerly of Beavercreek, Ohio, passed away unexpectedly on February 5, 2022, in Prague, Czech Republic. He is survived by his parents, Thomas and Kimberly Kramer of Beavercreek, Ohio, his beloved fianceé, Polina Vershinina, his brother, Spencer Kramer, his grandmother, Beverly Kramer of Centerville, Ohio, his aunt Dr. Teresa Kramer (Kim), his uncles David Kramer (Jen), Christopher Kramer (Melissa) and Timothy Sharpe (Taida), and his numerous cousins.
Zack was pursuing a doctoral degree in International Relations at Charles University in Prague, and at the time of his passing was just a few months short of completing his dissertation. The students in the classes he taught voted him "Best Teacher" in his department for his most recently completed semester. They told him that they could understand his neutral Dayton accent far better than English spoken by people from elsewhere in the United States. Zack was proud of his Dayton roots. Eastern Europeans still recognize Dayton as
being the "City of Peace" from the time of the Dayton Peace Accords. His studies focused on the political economics of
He was also a Research Fellow at the Prague Security Studies Institute, a non-profit policy group founded following
Czechoslovakia's exit from the USSR to deal with national
security issues associated with the country's post-communist governance. He had spent the last nine years of his life in
Europe, having received two master's degrees, one in Eastern European Studies from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, and the other in International Relations from the University of Bologna in Bologna, Italy, after having
secured his BBA in Finance (with a minor in Ancient Greek) from the University of Cincinnati, the first student in the history of that institution to secure a degree combining those two disciplines.
Zack had a passion for making connections with people from diverse backgrounds. His philosophy was that the best learning opportunities came from interacting with people with completely different life experiences than his own. His educational path gave him that opportunity, and there are many people from all over the world who are mourning his passing. His studies included semesters in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Kaunus, Lithuania, and he also toured virtually every country in Europe. Zack had a great facility with language and loved decoding the differences and similarities in the Eastern European languages. Like his father, brother, uncles, and cousins, he was an ardent Cleveland Browns fan. Always a supporter of the underdog! Zack had an encyclopedic knowledge of
European history, politics, and culture. There was no better guy to enjoy a beer and a wurst with. He will be missed greatly by his family and friends. His family was exceptionally proud of his courage and principles.
Polina has become a treasured part of the family. She and Zack met while attending the University of Bologna, and since that time they have experienced many obstacles (visa issues, border closings, etc.) to maintain their relationship while
pursuing their separate educational paths, and had in a most inspiring way overcome all of those obstacles to be together in Prague.
Zack's family enjoyed many memorable trips to visit Zack and Polina. Zack's brother, Spencer, had an especially memorable visit to Prague this past year to celebrate Christmas and New Year's Day with Zack, Polina and Polina's friend from Myanmar and travel with Zack to Warsaw, Poland. Zack and Spencer had a special brotherhood, in solidarity throughout their lives.
Memorial contributions can be made to Zack's favorite charity, Doctors Without Borders.
Services will be held in Prague. A Dayton-area celebration of Zack's life will be planned for the spring.