J. Logan Rogers, MD
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Spokane — J LOGAN ROGERS, MD - Brother, physician, husband, father, uncle, father in law, grandfather, friend and one of Montana's larger than life members of America's greatest generation has passed away peacefully from advanced dementia on August 11, in Spokane, Washington while surrounded by his family.
Dr. John Logan Rogers was born March 5th 1923, at Columbus Hospital in Great Falls, Montana. He was preceded in death by his wife MaryBelle, his brother Kenneth and parents Wilbur L. and Catherine J. Rogers. Survivors include his son, John Logan Rogers II, of Spokane, Washington, his son's wife Judy Long Rogers, and his only grandson and namesake, John "Logan" Rogers III. Dr. Rogers is also survived by his Brother Kenneth L. Rogers' nine children (his nieces and nephews) as well as many "shirt tail relatives" as he would refer to them and with whom he endeavored to remain in touch.
"Logan" as he was known growing up in Montana, was his mother's maiden name and was chosen for him to preserve it as there were no surviving children to carry the family name. The Great Depression instilled his tenacity and competitive nature, which served him well as an athlete and in his career. He also was born with a wanderlust which was manifested by the necessity of keeping him harnessed to the backyard clothes line.
Great Falls Bison football coach T.E. Hodges discovered Logan's abilities as a harrier, running the 220 low hurdles and clocking a "10 flat 100 yard dash" developing him into an all-state running back. The Football Bisons traveled the State of Montana and hosted teams from Everett, Washington and Honolulu, Hawaii and beat the Montana State "Bob kits" freshmen.
Enlisting in the Navy, he was chosen to attend the V12 Officer Training Program on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, where he received his commission and in so doing achieved alumni status. Deployed to the Pacific on the USS Muliphen, Logan was to receive battle ribbons for Iwo Jima, Saipan and Okinawa before his honorable discharge. This, in spite of spending the eve of VJ Day confined to quarters for commandeering a boat to see his high school girlfriend's brother on an adjacent ship.
Returning to civilian life as a student, his talents on the gridiron lead him to scholarship offers from the Universities of Wisconsin and Colorado. However, his uncle and mentor Dr. Patrick E. Logan, who practiced over 50 years in Montana, tersely informed the coaches by mail that his nephew, Logan, was going to pursue medicine rather than football, using his GI benefit to attend Carroll College in Helena Montana, where they produced "priests, doctors and scholars." While at Carroll he was student body president and a minority "kid from Great Falls" with the majority attending from Butte or Anaconda. His infamous Carroll exploits included requesting that ties be worn, much to the chagrin of his Silver Bow and Deer Lodge County classmates, as well as confirming by lab test that "the milk the German Nuns were serving had been watered down." He matriculated with a degree in microbiology, then went on to Creighton University College of Medicine, where he spent time working in the Boy's Town infirmary and traveled with their football team, following his passion for Sports Medicine.
From Creighton, Logan completed his internship at Mount Carmel Mercy in Detroit and was the attending physician at the death bed of Gus Dorais, ND's co-inventor of the forward pass. Then, on to his residency at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, Illinois entering private practice in St. Charles for over 35 years.
While in St. Charles, "Doc Rogers" (as he was known East of the Mississippi ) was Delnor Hospital Medical Staff President, "delivered lots of babies," was active with the Board of Abdominal Surgeons, Academy of Family Physicians, volunteered as a physician on the sidelines of the Fighting Saints high school football games and spearheaded the effort to light the field, became a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus, was a trustee for St. Dominic College, a member of the Abbot Marmion Society, enjoyed bird hunting, countless trips to Chicago and its many sports offerings, helped recruit Olympian and Sullivan Award recipient Rick Wolhuter to Notre Dame and was a football season ticket holder for over 30 years.
Also, while still living in St. Charles he purchased a dormant KOA franchise and property on the East Shore of Montana's Flathead Lake, two miles from where he learned to swim. Thus, began the family's annual East-West migration, operating the campground during the summer months. During this time he had also purchased and operated orchards which produced Montana's famous Flathead Cherries. This availed him to countless visits from friends and family arriving to enjoy "the largest freshwater lake West of the Mississippi," and he shared many late summer hours with his son, fly-fishing Montana's Swan River and numerous other activities in the Bigfork Area.
He departed his Illinois medical practice and became the Team Physician for the University of Idaho Football Vandals and worked in Student Health, then moved to Kalispell to continue in Family Practice, still spending time on the sidelines with the Flathead Football Braves, meanwhile completing the Grandview Townhome project near Kalispell Regional Hospital and eventually filled in as needed around the country as a Locum Tenens practitioner, maintaining licenses in numerous states and was a lifetime Member of the Montana Medical Association.
In his eventual retirement, he became very active with the Montana Ambassadors, receiving the Ambassador or the Year award from Montana Governor Marc Racicot. He was also recognized as a distinguished Golden Jubilarian Alumni from Carroll College and active with the Montana Republicans.
He left Montana moving to Spokane, Washington in order to watch his beloved grandson grow up and be near his daughter in law and son, eventually losing his wife of 54 years, MaryBelle, the yin to his yang, from whom he had been separated far too long.
Logan Rogers, single handedly helped to perpetuate the fact that the six degrees of separation are only two or three degrees in the State of Montana. He truly never met a stranger and continued to be excited about life in general, particularly if it involved the sport of football, especially Notre Dame. A kind and loving brother, husband, father, uncle, father in law, grandfather, friend to many, devout in his Roman Catholic faith, celebrant of his Irish ancestry and a great man. You would likely find his picture in the dictionary under the word "gregarious." He will be missed …….
There will be a Rosary Thursday August 21, at 7pm , Johnson-Gloschat Funeral Home, 525 S. Main Street, Kalispell and the Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday August 22, 11am St. Matthews Church, 602 S Main Street in Kalispell. Memorials in the name of J. Logan Rogers, MD may be sent to the Carroll College Hunthausen Activity Center Fund at 1601 N. Benton, Helena, MT 59625. To view John's online memorial, please visit www.hennesseyfuneralhomes.com.
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Aug. 17, 2014