An Unexpected Death in the Tennessee Anthropology Family

Dr. Michael H. Logan has died. Mike was an Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). He was one of my former cultural anthropology professors, a really nice guy, a good friend, a truly great teacher, and a really wonderful Friday afternoon beer buddy to many, many, many past anthropology students at UTK. Mike will be sorely missed by his many colleagues, friends, and former students. To this day our family cherishes the woven Mayan mat Mike and his wife gave us as a wedding present 37 years ago, and it is still prominently displayed on the wall in our upstairs library here at the house.

The obituary below was just forwarded to me a few minutes ago by archaeologist Donald B. Ball in Louisville, Kentucky:


Dr. Michael H. Logan passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, on May 21, 2016. Born May 20, 1942 in Denver, Colorado, he was the son of Dorothy Dixon Logan and bandleader Warner “Happy” Logan. Dr. Logan received degrees in cultural anthropology from the University of Colorado (B.A.), San Diego State University (M.A.), and Pennsylvania State University (Ph.D.). He did extensive fieldwork in Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, and India. He was known for his wide-ranging expertise in Plains Indian culture and art, as well as research focused on ethnobotanical and ethnomedical practices.

Dr. Logan authored and coauthored over 70 scholarly articles, book chapters, and reviews.  He also edited the journal, Reviews in Anthropology, as well as serving on several editorial boards. He served as a Professor of Anthropology at UTK from 1976 to 2014. He loved classroom teaching and mentored thousands of students on a wide range of topics in cultural anthropology. For teaching excellence he received a dozen prestigious awards, including the National Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award in 1993 and the Cunningham Award in 2004. The UTK Department of Anthropology’s annual award for outstanding graduate student teaching is named in his honor. In addition, he received awards for curating and co-curating six exhibits at the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, focusing mostly on Plains Indian Art and American Indian beadwork.

Dr. Logan was preceded in death by his parents, his older brother Warner, and niece Diane. Survivors include his wife of 45 years Elizabeth Brown Logan, daughters Kristen Logan Clark (Patrick Clark) and Kay Marie Logan, and many other beloved family members and friends. He will be remembered for his love for life, humor, wealth of knowledge, and giving spirit. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Tahosa Alumni Association (Camp Tahosa, Boy Scouts of America), P.O. Box 102938, Denver, Colorado 80250. A celebration-of-life gathering will be held on Wednesday, May 25th, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, located on the UTK campus at 1327 Circle Park Dr., Knoxville, Tennessee.

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