Nathaniel W. Creamer

Feb. 14, 1968 - April 14, 2017
Nathaniel W. Creamer, Feb. 14, 1968 - April 14, 2017

Nathaniel Wilkins Creamer, whose father, the late Francis B. Creamer Jr., was the rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in East Hampton from 1978 to 1996, died of cancer at the Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care in Towson, Md., on April 14, a little over a year after his father’s death. He was 49.

Mr. Creamer was reared in a family that believed in community building and social justice. His favorite phrase, according to his family, was “Pass it on,” which became an organizing principle, beginning with his work for the Peace Corps in the West African archipelago of Cape Verde, where he was an agricultural adviser to goat herders on Maio Island. His mother said languages came to him naturally and he had learned Portuguese to work on Maio. He returned to the island later to make a documentary about its daily life.

Nathaniel Creamer was born in New York City on Feb. 14, 1968, one of the two children of Reverend Creamer and the former Ann Wilkins Lichty, who survives. He grew up in New York, New London, N.H., and in East Hampton when his father was at St. Luke’s. He attended the East Hampton Middle School from fifth through eighth grade and graduated from the Salisbury School in Connecticut, having spent his junior year in Barcelona, Spain. He graduated from Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Ill., with a double major in European languages and international relations.

In East Hampton, he had worked during the summer at various jobs, once as a locker room attendant at the Maidstone Club and once as the town’s assistant garbage collector. He was also a bouncer one summer at a restaurant in South­ampton.

In 1996, while working as a program manager at Boston University’s School of Public Health, he met the former Louisa Kerr Bray. They married in 1998 and moved to Baltimore, where he became a self-taught manager of information technology for TerpSys, a Gaith­ersburg, Md., firm. At his death he was the head administrator of the Center for Leadership Education at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering.

“To close friends, neighbors, and colleagues, he defined what it means to be a citizen,” his family said, adding that he was “regarded as a quiet but determined community organizer.” In Baltimore, he was known to rise early every Saturday to clean up litter in the Oakenshawe neighborhood, where he helped organize community events and led efforts to maintain the Greenspace area, which served as the neighborhood’s backyard.

Among Mr. Creamer’s interests and talents, his family said, was woodworking, and he used it to improve his family home. He also was known for “his reassuring smile, easy laughter, and great singing voice,” they said. His favorite place was Chappaquiddick on Martha’s Vineyard, where his parents had bought a house in the 1960s and where he “passed on his love for the ocean and open wildness to his children,” his family said.

In addition to his wife and mother, who lives in Waldoboro, Me., he is survived by a son, Luke, 15, a daughter, Tess, 12, and a sister, Elizabeth Figler of Duxbury, Mass.

A celebration of his life will take place on May 27 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Glass Pavilion on the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore 21218. His ashes will be buried in Chappaquiddick. Memorial donations have been suggested to United Way of Central Maryland, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 340, Baltimore 21230, and National Public Radio at npr.org.