MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –– Mosquito control helicopters have stopped flying after a pilot died Wednesday in a crash.

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Mike Kramer, 44, leaves behind a wife and two young children. His wife, Tricia, said she hopes her husband is remembered for his Christian faith and loyalty.

His brother, David, will be picking up extra uncle duties.

“Thing that saddens me the most,” David said, “is thinking of their children losing their daddy. Tears at my heart strings.”

David lives in the same small town his brother did: St. Charles.

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Mike Kramer loved the air and navigating through it. Since he was a child, he knew he wanted to fly. An army veteran, he flew medical choppers and most recently ones that prevent mosquitoes.

“I believe he was an excellent pilot,” his brother said. “Not a risk taker or a maverick.”

He’d been commuting to the Twin Cities for the job.

David got to the scene in Maplewood Wednesday to drive his brother’s car home. He says it was seeing the temperature control that made it real.

“And I thought, ‘Must’ve been a cool morning as he was driving to work’…I think about little things like that,” he said.

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Funeral information for Kramer can be found here. 

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield