Thomas Logan, former Warwick M.S. assistant principal, supportive and compassionate father

By on June 19, 2019

Because my stubborn and cranky father, Thomas Luther Logan, refused to have any kind of a service upon his death, and only reluctantly agreed to holding a visitation, I made a deal with him that I would write his obituary and that it would not be a traditional one because he was anything but.

I could tell you that he was born in Conneautville in 1935 to Thomas Proudfoot and Catherine Ohl Logan. The fifth of seven children, my dad was brother to Isobel, Jean, Betty, Ann, Clint, and George.

He graduated from Conneaut Valley School District, Washington and Jefferson College, and Bucknell University, going on to teach science for 10 years at Towanda Area School District.

While at Towanda, he met my mom, G. Suzanne Halkyard Logan, and after having me, Heather Logan Lefever, they moved to Lititz, where my dad was the assistant principal at Warwick Middle School for 25 years, and upon his retirement, he proudly walked me down the aisle to marry my husband, Hal Lefever, who over Memorial Day weekend took him to his 65th high school class reunion — sort of my dad’s last hurrah.

My dad, however, was so much more than that to so many people, especially me. When I was little, he would lie down on the floor next to my bed, his head resting on a heart-shaped pillow, until I fell asleep, making sure the monsters in my closet didn’t get me. He was also the dad who insisted that the battery-operated dog that he and my mom got for me for Christmas was “just as good” as a real dog. It wasn’t, which he quickly realized, and which led to our adoption of two dachshunds, Heidi and Mandy.

My dad was also the imposing administrator, towering over his students with his six-foot frame. Serving as a cafeteria monitor for most of his career, there was one time when he was loudly reprimanding some misbehaving students and his dentures fell out onto the table, and without missing a beat, he picked them up, put them back in his mouth, and kept on going. A man of routine, he ate the same lunch for all 25 year — a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and an orange or an apple.

During holiday times, he delighted in annoying his students and staff by adopting a Grinch-like persona, when he was anything but, or by wearing an orange blazer on St. Patrick’s Day. When I was in the middle school (and let me tell you, every young teen girl’s fondest wish is to have her dad as assistant principal), he would sneak up behind me and my friends at dances and try to mimic our “moves.” At the time I was mortified, but now those are some of my fondest memories.

When I was in high school, he and my mom chaperoned all of our band trips, even the one to London, England, where he trekked all the way across the city just to purchase Hard Rock Café sweatshirts for me and my friends. Toward the end of my junior year, he spent an entire afternoon dyeing yards and yards of cheesecloth light blue so that we could use it as the sky for our post-prom decorations.

My dad was there again when I started my own teaching career at Warwick, which was when I realized just how much his students admired him. One of my first years, I had several of his “frequent flyers,” and they were extremely well behaved for me. When I asked one of them why they were always polite and respectful to me, he remarked, “I don’t want to let your father down.” Of course, he also walked over to the high school one day when I was sitting in a dunk tank and paid a rather large sum for the privilege of walking up and just hitting the target rather than attempting any throws. Payback, is what he called it.

In his later years, he followed a schedule — one he set and did not like departing from. When I called to ask if he wanted to go out to dinner, he would always sardonically comment, “Well, I usually go to the Manheim Diner on Monday night, but I guess we can go somewhere else.” He was so certain in what he liked and didn’t in terms of menu that some waitresses at his favorite establishments even removed the red cabbage from his dinner salad, for as he told anyone within earshot, “Cabbage does not belong in a salad.”

Underneath his sometimes gruff exterior, though, was a deeply compassionate, loyal, kind, and decent soul, one who never put himself before others. For years my dad drove up to Danville every Saturday to take my grandmother, who was in a retirement home, out to lunch and to bring her a bag of Kit Kats and her “educational literature” (The Star and The National Enquirer). He also took care of my mom, who was in very poor health, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for years, and never once did he express any frustration or annoyance, for he loved her that much.

My dad was my greatest supporter, the man who taught me that how you treat others and how you make them feel is more important than any form of personal gain. He also taught me that loving and being loved are the core values of life, because those bonds can never be severed.

On a somewhat final note, saying thank you to Tim and Cathy Yashinski, his neighbors, is not nearly enough for all that they did for him and for me and my husband. You will always be a part of our family.

In conclusion, my worst fear in life was never failure; it was disappointing my dad. He always picked me up when I fell, reprimanded me when necessary, and loved me without question; he was my hero and will be forever.

Service information

A visitation will be held June 24, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Spacht-Snyder Funeral Home, 127 S. Broad St., Lititz. Interment will be private and at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Tom’s name can be made KPETS, 2120 Oregon Pike, Lancaster, PA 17601; or to the Pet Pantry of Lancaster County, 26 Millersville Road, Lancaster, PA 17603.

Arrangements entrusted to Spacht-Snyder Funeral Home, Lititz. Condolences and memories may be shared at snyderfuneralhome.com.

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