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.
Messages & Condolences
CJ did not just have her finger on the pulse of Lawrence, she was a major SOURCE of that strong pulse–into everything that truly made a difference. She was my campaign manager–taught me everything I know about politics. She is and will always be sorely missed by many of us. My sympathy to the family.
Bill and Gregor, I was so fortunate to work with CJ in the KU Budget Office, and to call her my friend. She was a truly amazing, intelligent, passionate,and witty woman. My thoughts are with you.
Without Caroljean’s help my life would be far different today. So many memories and friendships flowed from her generosity. What an empty space her parting leaves; she is irreplaceable.
I am so sorry for your loss. CJ was a force to be reckoned with. Working with her at KU was a treat at times to say the least.
She will be missed.
Bill, her impact on this community cannot be measured–far and wide.
Silence will not fill the void ~continue to raise your voice! CJ was an inspirational, enthusiastic, and tireless advocate of thoughtful discourse and purposeful living. I feel blessed to have known her, humbled by her wisdom, and energized by her being. Love to family and friends ~ I am deeply saddened
Thanks for being on the planet. This family will always remember her smile and times spent protesting with and around CJ for some quite noble causes.
Truly a wonderful person.
Gregor and Bill we know she will be missed so take car of each other.
Dickie,BethAnne,Rose,Taj and Clarate
CJ was a true inspiration. My heartfelt condolences Bill and Gregor.
I will forever and always love this woman not just because of the thing she did for everyone but because her love and the fight that she did for all of use. she use to say Lawanna we need for you to get to work on those change of heart and she would be the first to buy some and she wouldn’t buy just one she would buy one for each of her friends that lived out of town and she would send them one every time a new one came out. she wouls also take me where ever I wanted to go. My prayers are with the family and I know Miss CJ is up in heaven fighting for us.
Dear Bill and Gregor, I’m thinking of you at this sad time. CJ was a kind friend and an inspiration to me.
Hooray for CJ! What a joy it was to be around her! Thank God for her and all those who strive to do good, like she did. …May those closest to her feel that “peace beyond understanding.”
CJ..I could always count on you for a thoughtful and intellectual response. Seems you had a finger on the pulse of reality. I very much enjoyed working with you from the Registrar’s Office and beyond. I, too, fondly recall the “Academy Awards” parties. God Bless.
CJ ‘s life is an inspiration to all women. She lent s willing hand to help others and took an active role in many causes. While sad at her passing I am sure she is blest and still working on her favorite causes.
Gregor–I was so sorry to see this. Thinking of you and your family. Katy
Whether at ECM, LWV, Coalition for Homeless Concerns or at so many social justice events over the decades–I could always depend on CJ for her perspective of fairness and equality for all. Her perspective will always be missed. Condolences to Bill and Grigor.
Bill and Gregor, my thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. CJ was a wonderful friend – to me personally – and to the Lawrence community. I’m confident that she will continue to fight the fight for all. Bless her wonderful spirit!
CJ will be remembered and celebrated as a giving community member and a warm and wonderful individual.
We put flowers on Charlie’s grave yesterday. She is with her son now.
Bill and Gregor,
So sorry for your loss. She was one of a kind!
My condolences to Bill and CJ’s family. She was a unique person who cared for and did so much for her community.
Bill and Gregor, I’m so sorry for your loss. I met CJ through my sister, Jane, and so enjoyed our visits. She was an inspiration to us all. She will be missed.
CJ was an amazing woman and role-model for so many KU students and Lawrence citizens. I will cherish her cheerful and empathetic spirit always whenever the next protest or South Park gathering occurs! My deepest sympathies to Bill and Gregor.
LIke everyone else has said, we are all better for knowing CJ. No matter where she was, what she was doing, or what she said, she did it from the high ground of impeccable ethics and empathy too often lacking in those in power. She led quietly and will continue to do so in our hearts and minds.
For Bill and Gregor: our hearts are broken with the passing of an extrordinary woman and friend. Her energy and passion will never be matched. We loved her and our thoughts are with your family always.
CJ was always there, whether it was for peace and justice, women’s rights or book sales, just to name a few. She showed up, often wearing one of her distinctive hats. I will sorely miss her. My condolences to Bill, Grigor and friends.
Grigor and Bill, So sorry to read about CJ. She was such a delight. I worked with her in the Friends of the Library area and this message is from them also. You will be in all of our thoughts.
We lost one of the great ones. Our sympathy to her family.
Your mom was an amazing woman. I’m thinking of you.
CJ, you were one of a kind! KU and the community will miss you for all your helpfulness, friendliness, kindness, hard work and willingness to do what it takes to get the job done! RIP God has you in his arms! Family remember all the good times you had with her.
C.J. was so upbeat and positive and a great social activist. She will be sorely missed.
So sorry to hear of Ms. Brune’s passing. Her passion for Lawrence and all of us who live here will be sorely missed. My prayers are with the family for peace and healing.
Years ago I worked with CJ at KU. She was a very hard devoted worker. I also especially remember her past “Academy Award” functions she would host.
To the family — so very sorry for your loss.
CJ was an amazing person, and I am thankful to have known her. She touched so many lives, and helped out so much. My deepest condolences to family and friends for your loss, she will be deeply missed.
CJ was someone I admired greatly. I so admired her fighting spirit and love of her community. RIP to her family and to all whose lives were touched by her and there are many.
CJ was a favorite of so many of us. She was always there to lend a helping hand or to right a wrong. And she did it with a smile and style.
Bill, she was the best. We are all better for having her.
We are all better off for knowing CJ and for living in our community that she served and loved.
Oh my,CJ, you will be greatly missed. Thanks for all you stood up for & for your inspiration. Thanks for being such a good friend. I enjoyed & appreciated working with you when I was at the School of Education.
I learned so much from CJ and she was such an inspiration to many others. Her fighting spirit lives on.
C.J. was one of Lawrence’s heroines. She will be missed!
My best to CJ’s family. She was the best and the world is worse off without her.
Sad news this morning. My condolences, but also my thanks for all she did.
My sympathies to CJ’s family. A giant voice in this community will be missed by so many. Peace, CJ.
Sympathies to Bill and Grigor. Thanks again, CJ, for all your work, and your grit and good cheer!
I’m shocked and sorry. R.i.P., CJ, pillar of the community!
Messages are closed.