PRESTON BROWN (1936-1996)

Preston Brown was known at Amherst for his unique, winning personality and his wide, infectious smile – and for a laugh that many can still hear.

He was an important member of the football, wrestling and rugby teams. Preston in fact was responsible for bringing rugby to Amherst in 1957. He single-handedly organized the club, developed the schedule, recruited the players and created a full-immersion training experience by taking the team to Bermuda during spring vacation. (See the caricature on the next page that appeared in the April 1, 1958, edition of Bermuda Mid-Ocean News, He was also in the lead photo on page one of the March 31 Royal Gazette.) The 1958 squad came back to become the only undefeated Amherst varsity in our final semester at the College. Preston remained active afterwards in rugby circles.


During his working years, Preston was truly a man for all seasons. He was a graphic artist, printer, marketing director, publisher and owner of Brown Publishing Company in West Springfield. For many years, he developed and operated a series of highly successful educational seminars held in various countries throughout the world. He was also actively involved for more than 25 years with the Eastern States Exposition, or Big E, in West Springfield.

Preston suffered a fatal heart attack Aug. 26, 1996, as he was about to attend a performance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood. He left his wife, Janet; a son, Preston; a brother, Sumner; and a host of friends.

Janet reports that their son Preston (“PB”) spent a few years in Colorado but now is back in Massachusetts. “Nice to have him back.” He has never been married. He works at the Lia Auto Group in Northampton in the Service Department and is learning a lot about his first love, cars. “We have continued our lives here in Southampton, Mass. We are still in the same house and would love to have anyone stop by at any time. Hopefully, not much has changed.”

Preston Charles Brown died Aug. 26, 1996.

A more formal “Pres,” at the Big E in West
Springfield, 1996

Preston, circa 1992, arguably the best-known smile
in the class

The Amherst rugby captain, as the losing opposition
may have seen him, Bermuda, 1958