Tribute to Tom Logan

Tom Logan

Tom Logan

This week the TAA lost a great friend and wonderful supporter, Tom Logan. He passed away at home on Thanksgiving Day. Services will be held on December 14th at 2:00 P.M. at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Visalia.

Tom joined the TAA in 2002 after buying his telescope from a friend. Tom wanted to learn more about astronomy so his friend encouraged Tom to Join the TAA. Tom always came to our meetings with enthusiasm, and a good joke or two. In the winter months he would always bring several bags of various types of oranges to share with us.

I first met Tom in 2003, when I joined the club. He would always sit quietly during the meeting and listen to what was being discussed. Then, without notice, interject a comment that would put everyone in a state of laughter. Tom attended most of our star parties. I remember the star parties that the club presented at Dry Creek for the River Land Trust. After the public left, the club members would take a little time to relax and visit. Tom would always have a story to share and again we would all be laughing. Tom could also take a joke. I remember a star party when he showed up with only half a telescope. He had to go home to get the missing parts. We really gave him a hard time about that.

Tom and his son Mark attended the club’s trip to the Mt. Wilson observatory in 2011. We rented the 60″ telescope for four hours. Tom really wanted to attend but came down with a bad cold. He was afraid that he wasn’t going to be able to make it. It was down to the wire, but Tom did get better and was able to join us. He really had a good time and as usual he kept us all laughing with his antics and jokes. Tom recently told me how much he enjoyed the experience looking through that telescope. He wanted to do it again. The club also got to take a personal tour of the historic 100″ Hooker telescope. Here we are pictured underneath it.

TAA members standing under the 100" Hooker Telescope at Mt. Wilson

TAA members standing under the 100″ Hooker Telescope at Mt. Wilson 2011

Tom was instrumental in organizing the club’s viewing of the transit of Venus across the sun in June of 2012. We wanted to find a spot that had a good horizon so that we wouldn’t have any trees to obstruct our view. He arranged for the club to view the event at the UC Lindcove Research Center.

TAA members at Venus Transit - 2012

TAA members at Venus Transit – 2012

This year Tom was a real blessing to the TAA and to me. He was one of the biggest supporters of the Arthur Pursell Observatory (APO) renovation project. He couldn’t work on our Saturday workdays, because he had to work on his citrus ranch. Instead he would help me during the week. He had many useful skills. He could weld; do electrical work, woodwork and much more. He also had equipment that he would let me use at the APO. This summer he managed to get an air conditioner donated to the TAA for the meeting room. The last project he was working on, was the electrical wiring inside our meeting room.  One of the last things he did at the observatory was to finish the wiring for the air conditioner. During the wiring project his electrician friend found that the building had never been properly grounded. Just before the last meeting, Tom and I pounded a new six-foot ground rod into the ground and Tom connected the ground wire.

Tom Logan telling a joke at a TAA meeting - 2013

Tom Logan telling a joke at a TAA meeting – 2013

Besides the work he did on the observatory, he would always talk to me after each meeting or call me at home to tell me how much he enjoyed being a part of the TAA and how excited he was about the direction the club was going. He would always give me words of encouragement. Tom always had good ideas for improvements on the observatory. At our reopening in October, Tom took on the job of “TAA Ambassador”. He greeted all the visitors as they came in and thanked them for coming when they left.

Tom and I had become good friends over the years. Whenever I went to his house to pick up a tool or return one, he would always invite me to sit down and visit. He would tell me stories about Lemon Cove and its residents, his time in the Air Force, his childhood, or ranching, which he loved. Before I left he would always give me some fruit to take home. I will miss Tom greatly. He was more that a friend, he was like a brother to me.

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Greg Eckes


I am a retired music teacher. I make custom violins and violas. I play violin in the Tulare County Symphony and fiddle in the Tule River Bluegrass Band. I like camping and astronomy.

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