Beloved father, husband, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, coach, and teacher Loren L. Logsdon, 84, of Eureka passed away at 3:15 a.m. on Thursday, September 24, 2020 at Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal. Loren was well known and respected for his kindness, generousity, sense of humor, mentoring, and love for his family. He shared his love of literature and books at WIU and Eureka College with students, other teachers, and friends. Loren enjoyed fishing, playing baseball, slow pitch softball, watching baseball and walking. He loved to write short stories, collecting friends and mentoring. He loved Eureka College and everything it had to offer to him. Loren also loved his wife, his family, and life itself.
"Words cannot express the sadness I feel for Dr. Logsdon's family and the entire EC community today, as we have lost such an amazing icon and instrumental part of our history and our lives," Eureka College President Dr. Jamel Santa Cruze Wright. "While we are all heartbroken, at the same time, we are grateful to have had the opportunity to know such a fun-loving and kind spirit, full of integrity, intellect and genuine goodness. He represents the true essence of Eureka College and the best of the human spirit. This College is an amazing place because of the likes of Dr. Loren Logsdon and his legacy will last in perpetuity."
"At a time of constant turmoil, the passing of Loren Logsdon is especially difficult," Eureka College's Special Assistant to the President Mike Murtagh said. "He was a kind man. Beloved by those that knew him, Loren was the consummate educator whose legacy will live in the lives he has touched. His life's purpose can be seen in the resumes of his students. He was a wonderful man. He was the best of us."
Loren lived his life by the philosophy shared by Ray Bradbury, "Do what you love and love what you do." He demonstrated that love in his teaching, his mentoring, and in how he treated his family, friends, students, and acquaintances.
Loren was born on April 26, 1936 in Versailles, IL a son of King and Inez Tarrant Logsdon. He married Mary A. Michels on June 7, 1959 on Olney, IL. She survives.
Logsdon first began his 66-year relationship with Eureka College as a student in 1954. In his first stint at Eureka, he was active in theatre, participating in nearly every play, and worked on campus to help pay for his education. He graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English in 1958, and his sister, Alma Parke, followed, graduating from EC in 1959.
Logsdon then earned his Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Illinois in 1960 and returned to EC to teach until 1965, when he headed to Western Illinois University. He spent two years there before becoming a graduate assistant in the Research Institute while earning his Ph.D. in American Literature at Ohio University. Loren taught at Eureka College for 5 years then at Western Illinois University from 1969-1991 and finished up his teaching at Eureka College from 1991 and retiring in 2017.
Loren's family were the center of his universe and he was the center of theirs. Besides wife Mary, survivors also include two daughters, Lori (Kevin) Bell of Canton; Beth (Mike) Peterson of Star, ID; one son, Bruce (Tracy) Logsdon of Meridian, ID; eight grandchildren, Lindsay Perry, Kelsey Tanner, Rob Peterson, Kaitlyn Bell, Patrick Bell, Bryce Logsdon, Blake Logsdon, Dylan Logsdon; and 12 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother and one sister.
Loren taught at Eureka College for 5 years then at Western Illinois University from 1969-1991 and finished up his teaching at Eureka College from 1991 and retiring in 2017. Over the next 25 years, Logsdon taught many courses at EC, ranging from freshman composition to senior seminar. He was the editor and creator of the Eureka Literary Magazine and later, Impressions.
In 1994, Loren was honored with the Helen Cleaver Distinguished Teaching Award for his excellence in the classroom, and in 2004, he received the Alumni Award of Merit. He was known for attending as many sporting events, lectures and performances as he possibly could, and was a proud donor of the college. He was also a member of the Ronald Reagan Society and a former member of the alumni board.
In 2010, he and his wife, Mary, established the Loren and Mary Logsdon Endowed Scholarship for students who demonstrate financial need. After several years teaching part-time as a professor emeritus, Logsdon officially retired in 2016, but he remained an active member of the campus community until the end of his storied, influential life.
An unbelievably prolific writer, Logsdon researched, wrote and published several books, including two oral histories of Eureka College, Stories from ‘Neath the Elms: Eureka College 1940-1970 and Stories from ‘Neath the Elms: Eureka College 1970-2014. His work can be found at the Eureka College bookstore and online at heliotropeu.blogspot.com, where he posted nearly 450 stories since 2017, including 69 this year. There, he chronicled the fictional adventures of his creations, Weeder's Clump, Illinois, and Heliotrope University.
In addition to being a Red Devil fan, Logsdon was an all-around sports fan, a passionate Chicago Cubs supporter, and an avid fisherman who delighted in reeling in giant carp off the bank. Loren's smile, kindness, enthusiasm for life, love of sports, and passion for teaching will be greatly missed, but will live on in his family and the thousands of students he taught.
Loren was a member of Eureka Christian Church where a private family service will be held. It will be livestreamed at 10:00 a.m. on Friday October 2, 2020 at eurekachristianchurch.org or facebook.com/eurekacc/live. Rev. Jennie Churchman will officiate. Although family services at the church are restricted to family, everyone is invited to attend graveside services will follow the funeral at Olio Township Cemetery where masks will be required. The family asks that attendees wear bright colors, especially yellow and blue, in his honor. Argo-Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home in Eureka is handling arrangements for the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Eureka College or Eureka Christian Church. Online condolences and tributes may be sent to the family at www.argoruestmanharris.com.
OCT 2. 11:00 AM (CST)
Olio Township Cemetery
1015 S. Main Street
Eureka, IL 61530