WILMINGTON — Dr. Jeffrey L. “Jeff” Brudney, 70, passed away surrounded by family Sunday, April 4, 2021, after a brief and sudden illness.
Jeff was born May 2, 1950, in Oakland, California, to Lillian and Alfred Miller. After Alfred’s passing, Jeff was raised by Ernest Alexander, his uncle who lived next door, and later by stepfather David Brudney.
Jeff’s undergraduate degree was from the University of California Berkeley, and he earned a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. In 1979, Jeff married Nancy, the love of his life, and was fond of declaring that while he “did the professing,” she did “everything else.” The couple moved to Norman, Oklahoma, where Jeff started his career at the University of Oklahoma as a professor of public administration.
In 1984, Jeff accepted a position at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, where he studied volunteerism and non-profits. Over their 24 years in Athens, the couple raised three children. As a father, and ultimately as a grandfather as well, Jeff was enthusiastically involved with his children’s activities and eagerly supported all endeavors.
After leaving UGA, Jeff spent 5 years as a distinguished professor at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2012, he became the Cameron Family Distinguished Professor of Innovation in the Nonprofit Sector at UNCW, where he continued to work with his trademark intensity until his untimely death.
Jeff will be dearly missed by his family, friends, colleagues and students around the world as the consummate mentor and a prolific researcher and publisher.
He was preceded in death by parents Lillian Brudney, Alfred Miller, step-father David Brudney, and brother Avery Miller.
Jeff is survived by his beloved wife, Nancy Brudney; daughter, Megan Brudney (Zach Berg), of Detroit, Michigan; sons, Philip Brudney (Rachel) of Atlanta, Georgia, and Evan Brudney of Raleigh; grandchildren, Adelynn Brudney, Nathan Brudney and Dov Berg; and aunt, Frances Alexander (the late Ernest Alexander).
The family welcomes charitable donations made in Jeff’s memory to Temple of Israel, Nourish North Carolina or the organization of your choice.
Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 5, at Temple of Israel Cemetery.
Share online condolences with the family at Coble Funeral and Cremation Service at Greenlawn Memorial Park.