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In Memoriam ~ John Braun ’50

John Braun ’50, an antiwar activist and former priest, died of pneumonia Nov. 28, in St. Louis Park. His wife, Marie, said he suffered from dementia.

John Braun was born in 1928 in Spring Hill, Minn., 40 miles west of St. Cloud. He graduated from St. John’s Preparatory School in Collegeville, went to St. John’s Seminary and was ordained a priest in 1958. He served as pastor at several small parishes, taught English and religion at Cathedral High School in St. Cloud, and became director of religious education for the Diocese of St. Cloud.

He met Marie in 1960 when she was organizing Young Christian Worker groups, a parish-centered social action organization. “In 1971, he left the ministry and came to Chicago and asked me to marry him,” said Marie, who was working for a federal housing program for the state of Illinois. John got a master’s degree of social work at George Williams College near Chicago, they were married in 1972 and moved to Minneapolis in 1973.

They joined Clergy and Laity Concerned About Vietnam, later became active in WAMM,
and helped form the Twin Cities Campaign to End Sanctions (on Iraq). In 1979, they started the Counseling Clinic in Brooklyn Center, providing outpatient mental health and chemical dependency treatment. They sold the clinic in 1995.

“I do hope to be able to say at the end of my life that I did the best I could to make this a better world,” John Braun wrote in a journal for his grandson, Jack Goepfrich, about
three years ago. “Sometimes I failed, but at least I tried.”

In addition to his wife, John Braun is also survived by a sister, Martha Bray; a daughter, Becca Braun; and a son, Matt Braun; all of Edina, and five grandchildren. Services are set
for noon Saturday, December 8 at St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 3rd Av. S., Minneapolis, with a gathering at 11 a.m.

Click here to read the full article about John’s life and work in the Star Tribune.