Leo Joseph Brown was born July 30, 1930, on the family farm at LeCenter, Minnesota, to Thomas and Mary (Sullivan) Brown. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Thomas Catholic Church and attended country school and LeCenter Public School. Following his education he enlisted in the US Army Reserve and worked as a cash cropper and electrician. Leo married Irene C. Shimota on January 3, 1953, at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in New Prague. After marriage they lived in Farmington and Lakeville until 1957 when they bought their farm in Bridgewater/Forest Township. Along with operating the farm, Leo worked as an electrician for Despatch Industries in Lakeville for 45 years. He retired from Despatch on February 24, 1997, and from farming a few years later.
Leo was a member of the Church of St. Dominic. He enjoyed family gatherings, and for a few years, spending time at the cabin near Hackensack. His children fondly remember when they were young and Leo and Irene would bring out the camper and their vacation would take them whichever way the wind blew. Along with his great sense of humor, Leo was a very talented craftsman. He could wire or weld anything, and was able to invent and build whatever kind of device was necessary to complete a project.
Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Irene; 7 children: Jeanne (Steven Pietig) of Pine Island, Bonnie of Burnsville, Donald (Mary) of Northfield, Ken of Webster, Dale (Cindy Keogh) of Northfield, Jan (Marvin Helgeson) of Edina, Amy (Dave Pennock) of Northfield; 17 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren; his sister, Irene Washa of Montgomery; his brother, Ken (Jo) Brown of Missouri; his sister-in-law, Lorraine Brown of Mankato; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by 2 sons Dennis in 1957 and Patrick in 1976; his parents; his sister Dorothy Dillon; and his brothers Dennis, Gerald, Vince, Robert and Harold.
Leo passed away on Wednesday evening, January 29, 2014, with his wife and family by his side, at Northfield Hospital, at the age of 83.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 AM, Saturday, February 1, 2014, at the Church of St. Dominic in Northfield with Fr. Dennis Dempsey officiating. Music will be provided by Resurrection Choir and family friend Sam Daly. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery, Northfield. Casket bearers will be Charlie Anozie, Angie Anozie, Jason Anozie, Karl Brown, Tim Brown, Shane Brown and Ryan Brown. Visitation will be 4-7PM Friday, January 31, 2014, at the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home in Northfield. Visitation will continue at the church on Saturday one hour prior to the funeral.