LeRoy “Buster” Brown agreed to coach swimming at what is now St. Thomas Academy even though he did not know how to swim. Later he took on advocating for Catholic and other private schools at the Minnesota Capitol even though he was a newcomer to politics.

Brown, who went on to become a leading voice for private education in the state, did not shirk from daunting roles that required learning on the job. The longtime physics teacher was instrumental in integrating private school teams into the Minnesota State High School League and securing transportation and other public funding for these schools. Later, he set an example of remaining active and engaged beyond his 90s, surrendering his leadership posts in his parish finally at age 103.

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