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Remembering Joe Logan

September 9, 2019

Joseph P. Logan, who began his practice of law in 1948 and spent 35 years with Thompson Coburn LLP, died on September 5 at age 98.

Mr. Logan was a decorated WWII veteran, a fixture of the St. Louis legal community, and a dedicated tax and estate planning advisor to numerous clients.

“Though his work as a lawyer and his extensive community service, Mr. Logan touched thousands of lives,” said Thompson Coburn Chairman Tom Minogue. “His commitment to service, from his days in the United States Navy through his career as a lawyer and beyond, was truly remarkable.”

Earlier this year, representatives from the St. Louis Navy League attended a 98th birthday celebration for Mr. Logan at Thompson Coburn, where he was presented with a coin given to top Navy commanders.

Mr. Logan, a native of Topeka, Kansas, was a 1948 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1942 graduate of Dartmouth College. He served in the United States Navy from 1942 to 1946.

Mr. Logan was one of a select few surviving members of the “Greatest Generation” to be present at both the Normandy D-Day invasion and the surrender of Japan in Tokyo Bay. He rose to the position of Lieutenant and served as Gunnery Officer on board the U.S.S. destroyer Hambleton, which shelled Cherbourg on June 6, 1944. The Hambleton later went to the Pacific, where Lieutenant Logan directed the downing of several kamikazes. For his service he was awarded the Bronze Star. The Hambleton then protected the battleship Missouri on September 2, 1945, during the Japanese surrender by dropping anti-personnel weapons to prevent anyone from swimming to attack the ship during the ceremony. While there, Lieutenant Logan was close enough to see dignitaries on the deck of the Missouri during the surrender ceremony.

After graduating from Harvard, Mr. Logan moved to St. Louis and joined the firm of Thompson, Mitchell, Thompson and Young, now Thompson Coburn LLP, in 1948 as an associate. He was admitted to the firm’s partnership in 1957. Mr. Logan focused his practice on private client work, and was well known for his skills in estate planning, probate, trust and tax matters.

Mr. Logan was active in a number of professional organizations, and was a former chair of the Tax Section of the Missouri Bar, as well as a former chair of the Probate and Trust Law Section of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. He was also a member of the American Bar Association for more than 50 years, the president of the Harvard Law School Association of Missouri, and the president of the St. Louis Dartmouth Alumni Association.

In 2011, The Missouri Bar Board of Governors issued a special resolution recognizing Mr. Logan for his “extraordinary legal career" and for setting "a standard of outstanding service to his clients."

Mr. Logan was active in a multitude of civic and charitable organizations. He served as president of the Ranken Jordan Rehabilitation Hospital from 1964 to 1994, was a former president of the St. Louis Regional Open Space Foundation, and a former board member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri. Early in his career, he was elected to the board of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, where he was part of the successful effort to integrate the university’s Theology faculty. He also was a former chairman of the board of trustees of the First Congregational Church of Webster Groves, where he was a member since 1952.

Politically active, Mr. Logan ran for the Missouri House of Representatives in 1958, and was a former board member and officer of the Jefferson Township Democratic Club. He also was an avid sailor, a world traveler, an environmentalist and a mountain climber who scaled both Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro. He trained for one climb by daily scaling 34 flights of stairs in U.S. Bank Plaza to reach his office.

Mr. Logan was married to his wife, Yvonne, for 74 years until her death in 2017. He is survived by two daughters and a son.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, September 12, at 10:30 a.m at the First Congregational Church of Webster Groves at 10 W. Lockwood Ave, with a reception afterwards. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Great Rivers Environmental Law Center.