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Robert Dean Logan: 1931-2012

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‘He got along with everyone very well’

By Lisa King

Robert Dean Logan died Sunday as he lived: surrounded by the people he loved.

Logan, 81, who lost a battle with lung cancer at Baptist East Hospital in Louisville, was a longtime businessman in one of the county’s most well-established family businesses in Shelby County, but he will be remembered as much more than one of the owners of Logan’s Uniform Rental and Logan’s Healthcare Linen Supply.

He will be remembered as a friend to many, said his brother, Howard Logan Sr.

“Everybody liked him; he got along with everyone very well,” Logan said. “He was just one heck of a nice guy.”

Logan, who has been living in Naples, Fla., during the winter months for several years, was born Jan. 24, 1931, the son of the late Lindsey and Deanie Logan. He graduated in 1948 from Shelbyville High School, where he excelled in sports.

That athletic ability continued into his college years at Sewanee College in Tennessee and at the University of Kentucky, for which he retained a deep loyalty, said Jean Logan, his wife of  55 years. 

“He loved his Wildcats,” she said.

After serving two years in the Korean War, Logan returned to UK, serving as captain of the golf team and was a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity.

In addition to Jean Logan, he is survived by two children, Dean Logan of Raleigh, N.C., and Jill Logan Jelsma of Louisville, as well as two brothers, Howard and Bill Logan.

Howard Logan said he has lost more than a brother; he has lost his best friend.

“We were so connected. It’s a rare thing for two brothers to stay so close for so long,” Logan said. “We played bridge together, and we were golf partners, and we each bought a place in Florida so to be close to each other. It was less than a five-minute walk.”

Logan recalled the last time he played golf with his brother, which was last month.

“He didn’t feel well; he’d had a rough time for several months, but we played,” he said.

Bill Logan, who left the company to start another business in Louisville, said the depth of spirit, of not refusing to give up, is something he admired very much in his brother.

“He loved his family, he loved Shelbyville, he loved UK, and he loved to play golf,” he said. “He wouldn’t let being sick keep him from any of them.”

Howard Logan said he had a wealth of good memories of the time that he and Bob spent at the helm of the family business before retiring and handing the reins over to their nephews, Arthur, Doug and Howard Logan Jr.

“We ran the business together for 20 years,” he said.

Those two decades were happy times, Logan said, because of the camaraderie that existed not only between he and his brother, but also within the business.

“They were more than employees to us, they were more like family,” he said.

Arthur Logan said he thinks that his uncle’s legacy of honesty and integrity will live on in people’s memory.

“He was a good honest man, well-respected in the community and by his colleagues, and a good uncle and mentor to me,” he said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better uncle and friend.”