JAMES KENNETH LOGAN,
89, of Olathe, Kansas, passed away on September 8, 2018 after a long bout with liver cancer. He was born in Quenemo, Kansas on August 21, 1929, the oldest of six children of John Lysle and Esther Maurine Logan, where he lived during his youth. A few days after graduation from Quenemo High School he joined the U.S. Army where he served an 18-month enlistment. After his discharge, he attended the University of Kansas, where he graduated in 1952 as apparently the first student to make all “A” grades. In addition, he was elected president of the All Student Council, and won a Rhodes Scholarship. The Rhodes Scholarship (at the time) required the student to be single and to live in the dormitories at Oxford University. During his senior year at KU, Jim fell in love with Beverly Jo Jennings, a fellow student, who herself had a distinguished college career.
Resigning the Rhodes scholarship, the two were married a few days after they both graduated, and he attended Harvard Law School. The couple had a very happy marriage of more than 66 years before Jim’s death. At Harvard, he graduated magna cum laude and served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Two years out of law school, he came to teach at the University of Kansas Law School, where later at the age of 31 he was appointed Dean. As a teacher, he served as a visiting law professor at the Universities of Harvard, Texas, Stanford, Michigan and Duke. He resigned from the KU Law Faculty in 1968. At that time, he had been working on a farm policy speech for Senator Robert Kennedy when Kennedy was assassinated on the night he won the California primary with votes nearly enough to become the Democratic candidate for President. The following Monday, Jim filled in the Democratic primary for the position of U.S. Senator, where the incumbent was retiring. He was defeated in the Democratic primary. Jim then joined the Johnson County law firm of Payne and Jones in Olathe, where he practiced until the end of 1977, when he was appointed United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth Judicial Circuit by President Jimmy Carter. While a judge, he served as Chair of the Federal Judicial Centers Committee on Appellate Education Programs for Circuit Judges, and for the Judicial Conference of the United States he served as Chair of the Advisory Committee on Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure (redrafted during his tenure). He was also awarded the Frances Rawle Award by the American Law Institute-American Bar Association for his lifetime contribution to post-law school professional education. After almost 21 years on the Tenth Circuit, he took full retirement and returned to private practice with his son, Sam, and brother Max, in the Logan Law Firm in Olathe. After his brother retired, the law firm merged its practice into Wichita based Foulston Siefkin law firm to establish its presence in the Kansas City area. Jim served as counsel, reducing his practice each year until he fully retired at age 86. While a judge, he served on panels deciding approximately 9,000 appellate cases. During his career, Jim authored, co-authored, edited five books, wrote more than 840 officially published legal opinions, and approximately 60 articles or other publications. History was an important part of his life. He edited a multi-author history of the federal courts of the Tenth Judicial Circuit (Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico), incorporated and advised the Historical Society of the Tenth Judicial Circuit, and served as president of the Kansas State Historical Society. While he made important contributions in his legal career, most important to him were his family and friends, people he loved and who loved him in return, from who he received his greatest pleasure. Special friends include the judges and lawyers with whom he served, 45 former law clerks, and his former law students.
Beverly and Jim had four children, all of whom survive; Daniel (Kathy), Amy Sliva(Rick), Sarah Sherard (John), and Samuel, ten grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brothers Dick, John, and Max, and his sister, Linda. He was preceded in death by his brother, Bill.
After their move to Olathe, Beverly and Jim built a home in which they have now resided nearly 46 years.
A private burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery near Quenemo, Kansas.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, September 22, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Ball Conference Center, 21350 W. 153rd St in Olathe, Kansas. All are invited to attend.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the KU Endowment Association earmarked for the James Logan Law Opportunity Fund, c/o KU School of Law, 1535 W. 15th Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66045 or the charity of your choice.
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