by Art Rage (follow the link)
by Rachel Brulé
My beloved grandpa, John D. Brulé, 91, of Syracuse, passed away on August 6, 2018 surrounded by his children and his wife. He left the narrowness of a small town, Hancock Michigan, for the expansiveness of an open mind. Schooled in the ways of war as a young man, as he grew up he renounced all support for violence and took up a lifelong pursuit of two intertwined causes: peace and justice. In fellowship with strong women-especially Sally and Dolores Brulé-and men, he worked tirelessly to build a world that was better than the one he entered. A world where ideas-from robots to the internet to civil disobedience practices-and people could cross borders and find themselves immediately at home, be it in a Computer Science at the University of San Carlos in Cebu, the Philippines, at Syracuse University, in New York, or around the wood burning stove on Standish Drive nearby.
His was a life of courting challenge, not comfort. He marched in favor of civil rights with Martin Luther King, Jr. on the tense streets of Selma, Alabama. He and my grandma Sally publicly refused to create a bomb shelter in their home when the threat of nuclear holocaust loomed during the Cold War, instead arguing “Peace is our only shelter.” He categorically rejected all funding from the Department of Defense in a research domain—Computer Science and Electrical Engineering—where they were central to advancing work. He used his classroom both to instruct students on the intricacies of engineering principles and about the importance of justice, inspiring his students by weaving his passion into everything he did. His example touched his children-Jim, Nannette, and Mark-as much as it did his students.
A year after his first beloved wife, Sally, passed away, his second beloved partner, Dolores, agreed to share his life and inspired him on to further, shared pursuits: traveling to understand what Walt Whitman calls “the weft, the warp, the incessant weave” of the world from Buenos Aires to Dakar, Sénégal and South Africa, as well as lifting up the community around them: marching against drone-based government surveillance, informing voters of what policies their representatives supported in the service of peace, education, and the environment, serving the Jail Ministry to help individuals contact their families and receive material and inter-personal comfort while they awaited trial, and playing an active role in the life of the gorgeous, multi-country family that John, Sally, and Dolores have built. John will inspire me and many, many others long beyond his passing to remember that the cost of inaction is far greater than the cost of action taken with love in the service of the common good.
May he rest in peace, and may his memory ensure we don’t give in to apathy. I love you grandpa.