Wicomico deputies mourn fallen colleague

Deputy 1st Class John Brune Jr.died of cardiac arrest on Jan. 15.

An active-duty Wicomico County deputy who died last week is being remembered as a dependable, good-hearted man.

“Whenever you needed him he was there for you. Whenever you needed back-up, he was always the one to be there,” Chris Kramer said about his stepfather, Deputy 1st Class John Brune Jr., who died of cardiac arrest on Thursday, Jan. 15.

His funeral was Tuesday.

“I was 7 when I first met him. He was in my life 25 years, so we have a long history together. As a father, he taught me to always do the right thing, to always be there for my mother. If he couldn’t be there for her, I was always there,” Kramer said.

Lt. Tim Robinson, who knew Brune well, and who handles public relations for the sheriff’s office, said Brune was commonly seen with a smile and unfailingly rushed to aid fellow deputies.

“He was fun and pleasant. Very positive. John was somebody who was lighthearted but good-hearted at the same time. And dependable. When something was going down, when there was a hot call going, you always knew John was coming. You always knew he was coming, even if you didn’t ask him,” Robinson said.

The 54-year-old Brune died after suffering chest pains at home.

He was taken by ambulance from his Willards home to Peninsula Regional Medical Center, but couldn’t be revived, Robinson said.

Brune had undergone surgery for heart condition about a week before his death.

“They did everything they could to save him,” said Robinson, who posted Brune’s picture and obituary on the sheriff’s office Facebook page.

A former Baltimore police officer, Brune worked at the sheriff’s office since 2001, as a patrol deputy, detective in the bureau of investigation and deputy in the civil division.

He had retired from his Baltimore duties after 20 years and wanted to move to the beach with his wife, Deborah, who survives. They have four children and four grandchildren.

Kramer said Brune enjoyed working in Wicomico County, that it was a nice pace for him after policing in Baltimore where he was “in the thick of it.”

At the funeral Tuesday, the honor guard was present and white-gloved deputies were at the door.

“It’s harder to replace somebody with 34 years of law enforcement experience, plus to find somebody with his heart and his dedication,” Robinson said.

“He had a lot of heart and was very dedicated to his profession and extremely dedicated to his deputies. You just can’t find that kind of dedication,” he said.

Brune was a member of The Fraternal Order of Police.  In his obituary, he was remembered as a man who enjoyed life, family and friends, as well as traveling to Key West. The family requested contributions be made to The John Brune Law Enforcement K-9 Foundation.

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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