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Dr. Johnson Obituary Note

Dr. Karen Sue Johnson, Assistant Professor of Sociology, died on December 27, 2005. Sue died a few weeks after her beloved husband of 34 years, Walter W. Brown. Sue will be missed by her family: sons Benjamin and Austin Brown; parents, Fred and Daisy Johnson; sister, Kristen Johnson; grandchildren, Alexander, Sebastian, Audie, and Christian, and her daughter-in-law, Noorlaila Murad-Brown. She will also be missed by her colleagues and her students at Texas State University.

Born in Wewoka, Oklahoma, in 1940, Sue received her BA in literature and philosophy from the University of New Mexico. She later concentrated her academic efforts in Sociology, earning both a Master's and Ph.D. from the University of Texas. Sue taught Sociology at institutions across the country, including Texas State University, Park College, University of Kentucky, University of Arkansas, Quinnipiac College, and St. Edward's University. Her publications focused on her passions - environmental and natural resource issues and sustainable development.

In addition to teaching, Sue's professional life involved managing important non-profit institutions such as the Austin Rape Crisis Center and the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve. Sue served as director of research for the Arkansas Department of Energy under then-Governor Bill Clinton; and she was elected to the Edwards Aquifer Board, eventually rising to president of this body.

Sue's last 25 years were spent in central Texas where her community service included membership on the City of Austin Board of Adjustment and the Travis County Task force on the Environment. More recently, Sue served as Chairman of the Board of Adjustment for the Village of Wimberley. Sue was also an active member of the South Austin Democrats, Wimberley Democrats, and the Hays County Democrats.

During her 65 years, Sue was consistent in valuing experiences over possessions. Her concern about the abuse we wreak on our planet was instinctive, as was her insistence on equality amongst different sexes, races, religions, and orientations. She was not shy about challenging us on the worldly pursuits that consumed our lives, always asking us if they were meaningful. Sue recognized and appreciated the unique personalities of each and every one of her many cats. She had a green thumb, and her family grew up surrounded by many beautiful plants and gardens. Sue had a unique perspective on the world, just as she had her own way of interacting with it. Her personality and special life challenged us and greatly expanded our perception. We will remember and miss her for this. A reception celebrating Sue's life will be held at the Historic Wimberley Winters House in Wimberley from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., January 9, 2006. The family asks that contributions be made in lieu of flowers to the following local institutions: Wimberley Institute of Cultures, PO Box 167, Wimberley, TX 78676 or Friends of Blue Hole, C/O The Village of Wimberley, PO Box 2027, Wimberley, TX 78676.