Robert B. Logan Sr., 86, business owner, traveler

Posted: August 02, 2013

Robert B. Logan Sr., 86, of Mount Airy, a business owner who savored summer road trips, died Wednesday, July 17, at Einstein Medical Center of complications from a stroke.

Mr. Logan worked for an exterminating company before starting his own business, Robert Logan Exterminating Service, in 1960. The firm in Mount Airy offered exterminating and fumigating services to customers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. He never really retired.

Prior to his work in extermination, Mr. Logan was an organizer for garment- and fishing-industry trade unions. At one point, he was a supervisor for the Railway Express Agency.

Born in Lindenwold, he graduated from Lindenwold High School and joined the Army Air Forces in 1944. He served as a radio operator during World War II aboard planes being ferried from the United States to Europe.

Mr. Logan met his future wife, Estella Freeman, at a dance on a military base while stationed in Biloxi, Miss. The base was near her home in Pascagoula.

Years later, their paths crossed again in New York, where she worked in the Garment District and he was employed by a fishermen's union. The two married in Philadelphia in 1951.

Mr. Logan was a member of the 4-H Club, Pest Control Association, and Penn State Cooperative Extension Service. He volunteered as an ambulance driver and enjoyed reading, history, poetry, museums, and technology, but his passion was travel.

Mr. Logan would pore over the newspaper travel section, pick a captivating place, save up his vacation time and money, and take off in the summer on a road trip. At first, the family stayed in a tent. Later, he invested in a Trade Winds camper.

"As a kid, it was a step up, literally," said his son Donald.

In the 1960s, the Logans visited Niagara Falls, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, the World's Fair in Montreal, the Gulf of Mexico, the South, Mexico City, Pikes Peak, Yellowstone National Park, and Disneyland.

In the 1970s, Mr. Logan went to Africa with a group from Temple University.

"Having the darkest skin color in the group, he was highly esteemed by the African locals and was invited to sit with the tribal chiefs," his family said in a statement.

Mr. Logan advocated for neighbors in North Philadelphia about police matters on his former block - on one occasion while carrying his baby daughter.

Over the years, he gave drug addicts a job, the homeless a place to stay, and the hungry a spot at his table.

Besides his wife and son, he is survived by another son, Robert B. Jr.; a daughter, Judy Austin; 11 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.

A son and granddaughter died earlier.

A viewing will begin at 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 2, with funeral services at 10, at New Life Seventh-day Adventist Church, 4726 Old York Rd. Burial will be in Washington Crossing Veterans Cemetery.


Contact Bonnie L. Cook at 610-313-8102 or bcook@phillynews.com.

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