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Theophilus ‘Theo’ Logan, 105, made homeownership doable for Black San Diegans

Theophilus “Theo” Logan is finest recognized for his work in native actual property, the place he helped make homeownership doable for Black San Diegans and different minorities at a time when redlining and segregation made it practically unattainable to safe financing. However to those that had been near him, Logan was referred to as a person of nice religion, a legend and the embodiment of a gentleman.

Logan, 105, handed away of pure causes at his residence in Bankers Hill, surrounded by household on March 16. He died a month earlier than his 106th birthday.

Daughter Barbara Logan recollects that he by no means left the home with no hat — the sort you’d see males sporting within the Forties — and he was recognized to be a “dapper dresser.” Members of the family joked that you simply’d by no means catch him sporting denims in public, though he had just a few pairs to put on round the home.

Dee Sanford, a detailed household pal who grew up with the Logans, mentioned he was a clever man who was “bigger than life” in stature. She by no means heard him say a nasty phrase about anybody.

“He was all the time calm, cool, collected, effectively dressed, very dignified; only a presence,” mentioned Sanford, who famous that Theo Logan is the explanation her father moved to San Diego. “He had a presence like nobody else.”

To many, he epitomized the dignity of a gentleman inside and outside.

And although he took nice care in his bodily look, Logan was not one to evaluate by seems. The equal therapy of individuals was necessary to Logan, and on the middle of his life’s work. Barbara Logan mentioned he all the time believed in doing the correct factor and serving to individuals in want.

“What he did was not a simple factor to do,” she mentioned. “He discovered there was a necessity and that the banking system was unjust and he felt that we should always all be entitled to the identical alternatives and to construct generational wealth.”

After serving within the army, Logan opened his agency Logan Realty in Logan Heights at a time within the Nineteen Sixties when redlining and prejudice saved individuals of colour from homeownership.

Whereas some business lenders refused to jot down mortgages for minorities, Logan found out one other manner and helped individuals safe financing by means of FHA and VA loans.

“I inspired lots of people who didn’t notice that they had been in a position to purchase,” he mentioned in a 2019 interview with the Union-Tribune.

He established himself in the true property business and joined the San Diego Board of Realtors — at this time’s Higher San Diego Affiliation of Realtors — and chaired its Neighborhood Revitalization Committee.

In 1978, he grew to become the primary African American elected as an area realty board president.

Logan was additionally dedicated to uplifting younger, African American males by means of his 87-year tenure as a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Samuel Knight, his fraternity brother within the San Diego chapter mentioned that is a part of Logan’s legacy.

“Anyone who knew him and met him for any size of time simply liked him and simply liked to be in his presence. I imply, his aura simply permeated the room,” Knight mentioned. “We’ve misplaced a legend.”

Born in Lima, Okla., on April 30, 1917, Logan was the oldest of 5 youngsters. His father labored on constructing and sustaining tracks for the Rock Island railroad and his mom was a schoolteacher.

He grew up visiting his grandparents in San Diego within the Twenties; he adored the town and referred to as it “one of many jewels of America.”

He graduated in 1939 with a liberal arts diploma from the traditionally Black school Lincoln College in Oxford, Penn. Logan moved to San Diego in September 1941 with the intention of working within the native welfare division.

However when conflict broke out three months later, he was quickly drafted into the Military and despatched for six months of coaching at Fort Huachuca south of Phoenix. Then he shipped out to Italy, the place he was a platoon chief in an anti-tank gun unit and later served as a liaison officer. He later served in Germany, Japan and Korea.

Logan served within the 92nd Infantry Division. As the one all-Black unit to see fight in World Conflict II, it inherited the status of the famed Buffalo Troopers’ cavalry regiment that fought within the late-Nineteenth century Indian Wars.

Logan taught from 1955 to 1959 at one other traditionally Black faculty — Lincoln College in Jefferson Metropolis, Mo. It was there that he met and married his spouse, Martha, who earned a legislation diploma in 1972 and was certainly one of a handful of Black girls attorneys in San Diego. They’d two youngsters, William and Barbara, each born in Germany the place Logan was stationed a second time from 1960 to 1962.

Logan retired after 20 years of service and acquired quite a few awards, together with a Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, throughout his service in World Conflict II and Korean Battle.

Whereas he was not one to boast about his accomplishments or good deeds, individuals locally took discover.

Final yr, he was honored with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Dignity Award from the Jackie Robinson YMCA.

“I keep in mind his sincerity in what he was doing,” Logan mentioned of King’s legacy in an interview with the Union-Tribune final yr. “He realized the state of affairs on this nation, and he did one thing about it. I feel we have to perceive what he gave up in an effort to assist us enhance our lives on this nation.”

Leon Williams, a former politician who was the primary Black individual elected to the San Diego metropolis council and board of supervisors, remembers Logan as a “optimistic human being” and “a builder of human relations” throughout the challenges of the civil rights period.

Michael Brunker, retired govt director of the Jackie Robinson Household YMCA, mentioned Logan cared in regards to the group group and valued what it supplied individuals in Southeastern San Diego.

“Lots of people can holler and scream about issues being mistaken. Theo Logan made a distinction,” Brunker mentioned.

Brunker added that even after Logan retired and moved to a special neighborhood in San Diego, he stayed rooted locally and invested in its continued progress. Contained in the doorways of the Jackie Robinson YMCA, Brunker mentioned there’s a quote by the baseball legend that claims, “a life just isn’t necessary besides within the influence it has on different lives.”

“And there’s little doubt in my thoughts Theo Logan was an influence participant … what he did when it comes to his profession offering individuals alternatives to get houses and the philanthropy that he was answerable for in so many personal methods,” Brunker mentioned.

When Logan wasn’t working, he loved watching traditional Westerns, like Bonanza, or the “shoot ‘em ups” as he referred to as them, his daughter mentioned. He was religious in his Christian religion, and at gatherings he was referred to as the prayer chief who would deliver individuals collectively in a circle by proclaiming “good night, good night” — all the time twice.

For his one hundredth birthday, he requested for an iPhone and realized learn how to ship group texts. He by no means stopped desirous to study and he stayed energetic — two issues Barbara Logan credit for her father’s lengthy and blissful life.

Logan is survived by his spouse, Martha; his youngsters, Barbara Logan of El Cajon and William Logan of Bankers Hill; 4 grandchildren; one great-grandson and plenty of nieces and nephews.

A memorial service shall be held at 1 p.m. on April 7 on the Christian Fellowship Congregational Church off Kelton Highway.

His household mentioned that donations in Theo Logan’s identify will be made to the San Diego Training and Mentoring Fund by means of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

U-T freelancer Roger Showley contributed to this text.


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