St. Columbkille High School

By Charlene (Wilkinson) Warren, President, Class of 1981

george-m-castI remember Brian as a young boy in middle school always looking to play basketball and, of course, always with a smile on his face. To me, he seemed to be so comfortable with who he was. Maybe it had to do with his confidence in himself in playing basketball. Regardless of howI saw him at that time, I never would have thought of him as someone who would have been comfortable at center stage. So I was completely surprised that Brian was cast as the lead in our Senior Class play as “George M. Cohan”. Granted he had that distinguishable baritone voice but who knew he could sing? Certainly not me. As “George M.”, Brian was the lead character of the play and I think it was at this time that he began to display his leadership qualities. He showed a commitment to the play and tried to set a good example during endless practices. Maybe it was this early experience on stage that later helped him adjust so well to being in the public eye as well.


bb-st-cols-cyoYears after his role as “George M.”, I relied on Brian’s commitment and leadership qualities to assist me as a member of two class reunion committees. No matter how busy his business or personal lives were, Brian joined the committees. Because he understood the importance of committing to a task and staying with it, he worked as hard as any other team member. I know that he agreed to help me out of friendship but he worked hard at the task because of who he was. He displayed this commitment in so many aspects of his life including his role as City Counselor. Knowing the many obligations Brian had running for District Attorney, I didn’t ask him to assist on the reunion committee for our 20th class reunion. Fortunately, he was able to attend the reunion and spend time with so many of his former classmates and teachers. I’m grateful for all of us that we got this time with him. I’m also grateful for having had the chance to see Brian grow from the boy with the basketball to the man who was a good friend, a caring person, a committed individual, and a strong leader. But, most of all, I’m grateful he was my friend.