Molly Priedeman Brown '39: A Lifetime of Adventure, a Legacy of Support

Mary BrownWhen Mary "Molly" (Priedeman) Brown passed away on September 5, 2010 at the age of 89, her obituary noted that she was "...a robust, colorful type of character western legends are made of, a woman who flew airplanes, carved gunstocks and worked at times on a Montana ranch, riding on horseback and rolling her own cigarettes with one hand."

Mrs. Brown was also a lifelong supporter of her alma mater, the Summit School, and then the merged St. Paul Academy and Summit School along with her husband, the late Robert C. Brown '41. Her support continues even after her passing, as SPA was honored to receive a very generous bequest in Mrs. Brown's will that will support the faculty and student experience at the school for years to come. Mrs. Brown's bequest joins that of her late husband, who also remembered SPA in his will.

Mrs. Brown was born in St. Paul. She graduated from Summit School in 1939 and Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., with a major in Art. In 1950 she married Mr. Brown, St. Paul Academy Class of 1941, after turning him down twice.

In 1951 the pair moved to Osceola, Wisc., and built a house north of town on the bluffs of the St. Croix River. As they began their life together, their mutual passion for airplanes resulted in a business partnership as well as a life partnership: they founded the successful Champion Aircraft Corp. in Osceola, and Champions were marketed and sold worldwide. Mrs. Brown herself was a private pilot, and enjoyed flying throughout her life.

Other lifelong interests and passions included spending her summers on the family's working ranch in Montana and all of the shooting sports, competing in skeet and trap shooting. Mrs. Brown attained championship shooting status, and her husband often jokingly referred to himself as her shell and gun bearer. Mrs. Brown was also a golfer and tennis player, playing and competing in Twin Cities area tournaments. The two were both avid hunters, game and land conservationists, and Mrs. Brown was active in her community as a member of the Osceola Business Association and a founding member of the Osceola Ambulance Association Board.

"SPA is both humbled and grateful by Molly and Bob's generous support throughout their lives and even after their passing," says Dorothy Goldie '73, Director of Institutional Advancement. "We are honored to count them both as members of the school's Torch and Lamp Society."

Mrs. Brown is survived by her sons Robert C. "RC" Brown Jr. and Patrick Brown, and granddaughter Bianca Brown. She will be sorely missed by her family, many friends, and the entire SPA community.

For information about how to plan a gift to St. Paul Academy and Summit School, please contact Dorothy Goldie at
651-696-1422 or

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to St. Paul Academy and Summit School a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to St. Paul Academy and Summit School, a nonprofit corporation currently located at St. Paul, Minnesota, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to SPA or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to SPA as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to SPA as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and SPA where you agree to make a gift to SPA and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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