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August 7, 2009
By Brandon Stewart
Longtime classified staff member Karron Brandon died last week following complications from a hip replacement surgery in the spring. She was 64.
Spending time in multiple University offices across during her 18 years on campus, Brandon touched the hearts of many whom she worked with.
Brandi Bernard, an adviser in the University Advising Center, remembered Brandon from her time in Career Development.
“She was truly our receptionist extraordinaire,” Bernard said. “She brightened everyone’s day and took us under her wing when we needed her. You could not ask for a more positive, friendly person to spend your work day.
“She was truly one of the most student-oriented people I have had the opportunity to work with,” Bernard added.
In addition to her time in Career Development, Brandon also worked in the ASUN Bookstore, the Cashier’s Office, Alumni Relations and Facilities Operations.
Brianna Draper, an administrative assistant in Facilities Operations, shared an office with Brandon and remembered her smile and unique sense of style. She said Brandon was known for wearing purposely mismatching earrings and wearing an angel pendant..
“She was always bubbly and she had nothing bad to say about anyone—she was always looking on the bright side,” Draper said.
“I once got her a pair of earrings that looked like fishing lures because she loved to go fishing,” Draper said. “And she told me, ‘Those would make perfect bait.’ “
In addition to light-hearted humor, Brandon, a Oklahoma native, also played the role of mentor to younger staff on campus. Monica Ranson, an accounting assistant in the ASUN Bookstore, developed an especially close relationship with Brandon.
“Karron and I for months and months and months used to have lunch together in the TV room in the old student union,” Ranson said. “We didn’t know each other before, but we met and started talking often. Slowly but surely we developed a really fun friendship.
“One day we connected the dots and realized her husband and my dad worked together in the heat plant on campus. We then told her husband and my dad and we had a huge laugh over it—we’d known each other for so long and never knew it.”
Ranson said that Brandon helped her through a lot a sticky situations, always looking for the silver lining.
“She was the type of person that when you saw her you just knew that you could talk to her. She was always smiling. That smile was something you would never forget. She was one of the most genuine people in the world.”
A large part of her optimism came from her contagious faith, Ranson said.
“She had strong faith. And she had a way to helping me cling to mine”
Brandon is survived by her husband Wayne, who works in the heat plant on campus, son, Duane Baker, and daughter, Dena Avansino.