Ina Logan - an always elegant woman whose greatest loves included birds and flowers, natures wonders, fine books, fine food, fine clothes and, most of all, her two daughters and grandson - died Wednesday, February 5, 2020, at age 90.
Despite her age, it was a surprise. With her memory slipping, shed been living in a Kansas City retirement home. She fell, her hip broke; she came through the operation fine, but complications crept in. She passed five days later, at peace, asleep, family at her side. If shed known what was happening, she might have said, "Darling," or "Love" - its how she spoke - "this is not my cup of tea."
Ina never fully lost the elegant tone of her upbringing in Northern Ireland.
She was born on June 25, 1929, outside Belfast, the fifth of six daughters and the final child, a baby brother, aptly named Briton on a dairy farm called Fairgrove. Seventy years away, and it was always "home." She would tell stories of when she fell ill as a child and "daddy" wrapped the hooves of the farm horses in blankets to keep them from shaking her as they trod the cobblestones. She and her sisters shared the familys one bicycle to get to school. They would pedal for a spell, drop the bike and then another would take over. She loved to read. "Ina and her books!" her sisters would chide. At 15, she played blues piano in a dance band. When Ina discovered only the male members were being paid, she spoke her mind. "Im working just as hard," she argued. They paid up.
At 20, she left her hometown beau - too boring - and sailed along to America, where in Philadelphia, at 23, she met and married an intellectual, Robert "Bob" Morris. He was an Episcopal minister, a hospital chaplain, whose ideas about instituting day care and mothers day out would, in red scare days of the 50s, be seen as so radical that the board of his church, then in Ohio, warned of turning him in as a communist.
"I loved his mind," shed say of the man, even after he became her ex-husband. In the 40-plus years that passed from the time they split, she never said an ill word of him.
Eight months pregnant with her first daughter, Heather, Ina and Bob left the U.S. in 1954 for England. Theyd return to Pittsburgh, where in 1962, they had daughter Tamara, then on to Miami. Ina was at his side when he left the church and became a psychologist.
Before the marriage ended in mid 70s, she had led a life of cocktails and canapes at the Coral Reef Yacht Club.
Then, divorced and on her own in her mid 40s, Ina carved out a life of achievement. She wanted "a professional job." So, she went to college, Upsala, doing her homework, seated at the dining room table, eating licorice, while the pet cat Suling sprawled under the table lamp. Tamara did her high school homework nearby. Ina graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
"I wanted financial independence," she said. For 20 years, she worked for the N.J. State Department of Labor, helping welfare recipients find work. She became a landlord, buying a two-story home in Red Bank N.J., living on the first floor and renting out the top, barely six miles from the ocean she loved.
Strong-willed with strong opinions - ardently pro-Choice - Ina, until the day she passed, was never known to raise her voice. Everyone who met her spoke of her gentle and welcoming sweetness. A crass word never passed her lips. But she prided herself on her sharp mind.
Inside her home, she created a life of elegance, cooking gourmet meals from any one of the hundreds of cookbooks that packed her shelves. She cultivated flowers and herbs in a container garden that spanned the width of her home.
Her home was filled with color and light, the sound of both classical music and BB King on the radio, and the PBS Newshour on the television. She went to the symphony with some friends, and played ping-pong with others. No holiday or dinner was complete without lifting a glass of champagne.
No hard time passed without a call to Silent Unity and the request for a prayer. For 30 years, she found inspiration in The Daily Word. She thanked helpful friends and strangers with Godiva chocolates, wrapped just so.
When Tamara had Aidan, in 1997, she visited Kansas City regularly, spending most of the time "puttering" with her girls, snacking on cookies, crackers and cheese. Heather had moved to Kansas City, too, to be at the birth of her only nephew. Ina was in her 80s when her home in New Jersey became too much to manage, and she followed.
"I have never seen such big, blue skies," shed say of her new home.
Here, she spent Christmases and Easters, Thanksgivings and birthdays. Though her memory waned, she never forgot the faces of those she loved. She watched the birds from her room and greeted all with a large smile.
Ina passed in the wee hours before the sun rose. Recordings of ocean waves and Irish ballads soothed her at her pillow side. Tamara, sleeping soundly in a cot alongside, felt suddenly awakened at the moment her mother passed, as if touched gently on the shoulder by someone saying good-bye.
Ina was the last of her five sisters; her brother had passed, too. She spoke often about her mummy" and "daddy" in recent years. Now she joins them, certain to approach them smiling and with a champagne flute held high.
Ina Logan is survived by her daughters Heather Morris, recently retired from UMKC, Tamara Morris, with the UMKC Conservatory and School of Education, her son-in-law Eric Adler, a reporter at the KC Star and beloved grandson Aidan Adler, a recent honors graduate of Tulane University.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, March 14th at 10:30 a.m. in the Chapel of the Country Club Christian Church at 6101 Ward Parkway, KCMO.
Memorial Service Country Club Christian Church
Saturday, March 14, 2020
6101 Ward ParkwayKansas City, Missouri 64113