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Thomas M. Leous Jr., scholar-athlete, furrier <br> March 16, 1926 -- Dec. 17, 2010

Thomas M. Leous Jr., a scholar-athlete at Lafayette High School and Williams College, died Friday in Buffalo General Hospital from complications of a fall suffered six days earlier. He was 84.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Leous was a graduate of Lafayette High School, where he lettered in four sports, was captain of the football team, batted .400 over four years on the baseball team and was selected twice to the All High Football Team as a tackle. He was inducted into the school's Wall of Fame in 2009.

A Navy veteran, Mr. Leous served in the Atlantic Theater and played for a Navy football team coached by Lt. Cmdr. James Crowley, one of the legendary Four Horsemen of Notre Dame.

He was a 1950 graduate of Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., where he majored in English and played four years of varsity football. Upon returning to Buffalo, he ran Leous Furriers for 18 years before completing his career in financial services, retiring in 1994.

Mr. Leous was active in the local alumni chapter of Williams College and was instrumental in recruiting dozens of Western New York scholar-athletes to the school. He was honored with the Copeland Award -- considered the highest alumni award at Williams -- on the weekend of his 55th college reunion in June 2005.

Mr. Leous was an active volunteer for many organizations, including Catholic Charities, Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, March of Dimes, American Heart Association and American Cancer Society. More than 40 years ago, he co-founded the Cancer Society's annual golf event, which has raised millions in the fight against cancer.

He was a member of the Kenmore Rotary, Automobile Club of Western New York, University Club of Buffalo, Cherry Hill Club, Country Club of Buffalo and was the last surviving member of the "Old Pals," a social club. He was a competitive squash player and golfer, and won several titles over the years. Survivors include his wife of 58 years, the former Beatrice Batt; two sons, Thomas M. III and Stephen; four daughters, Elizabeth Bressette, Carolyn Singh, Suzanne and Marcia; and a sister, Nancy Daly.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 1085 Englewood Avenue, Town of Tonawanda, after prayers at 9 in C. Mertz & Son Funeral Home, 911 Englewood Ave., Town of Tonawanda.


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