Caroljean “CJ” Brune, 68, of Lawrence, died on April 16, 2015 after a brief illness.
She was born April 18, 1946, in Clay Center, KS, daughter of Donald R. Stagner and Geneva Haynes Stagner. She attended KU 1964-72 while raising her two sons and returned to receive an MBA in 1984. She spent her professional life on the University staff, first in the Admissions Office and then in the Budget Office and as business manager of the School of Education. She served on several university search committees and as president of the Unclassified Professional Staff Association (UPSA). She was a member of the University Women’s Club.
CJ was known for her work in organizations dedicated to progressive causes. Some of these included Ad Astra Institute, Grass Roots Action, Sierra Club, Lawrence Preservation Alliance, Occupy Lawrence, Kansas Mutual Aid & Solidarity, Congress for Racial Equality ( CORE), International Workers of the World (IWW), Lawrence Coalition for Peace and Justice (LCPJ), Douglas County League of Women Voters (president), National Organization for Women (NOW), Code Pink, Peggy Bowman Second Chance Fund, Women’s Transitional Care Services, Lawrence Coalition for Homeless Concerns, Douglas County Democrats and Progressive Democratic Caucus, Women’s Studies Advisory Board.
She was a volunteer for many local organizations, most recently for the Lawrence Public Library, The Lawrence Humane Shelter, the Lawrence Community Shelter, and Depot Redux.
CJ was an active participant in local government, including two terms on the Lawrence Traffic Safety Commission and as campaign manager for several city and county commission candidates. She was an at-large member of the Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods (LAN).
She was best known as an activist for social justice, opposition to war, racial equality and women’s rights. She registered voters in the South in the 1960s, participated in student protests throughout her time at KU, and, in later years, attended demonstrations in Denver, New York, Austin and Washington, DC. Her proudest achievement was as a member of the February Sisters, who occupied the East Asian Studies building in 1972. They were the first women to occupy a university building in behalf of their own rights, and their action gained meaningful improvements for women at KU.
She loved her family, travelling, and books and compiled a personal library of around 30,000 volumes.
CJ is survived by her husband Bill Getz of the home, her son Gregor Brune, Lawrence; her sister Joan Chance of Phoenix and brother Ross Stagner of Helena, Alabama.
She was preceded in death by her son Charles Brune and by her parents.
Caroljean requested that no formal services be held.
Memorials may be sent to the Lawrence Coalition for Peace and Justice, Lawrence Community Shelter, or to another progressive organization of choice c/o Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1260, Lawrence, KS 66044
There will be a celebration of her life later this spring; details forthcoming on social media.