Robert  Logcher
Robert  Logcher

Obituary of Robert D. Logcher

Robert D. Logcher of Bedford was surrounded by his loving family and dear friends when he made his graceful, peaceful surrender to cancer on July 20, 2021. He was 85 years old. Born December 27, 1935, in The Hague, Netherlands, to the late Henri and Cato Logcher, Bob immigrated to Brooklyn in 1939 and lived his teenage years with parents and sister Betty in Scarsdale, New York. He later earned his BS, MS, and ScDs in Civil Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1954-1962. The author of countless technical papers and research reports, Bob later became a respected Professor of Civil Engineering and taught generations of engineers at MIT. An early pioneer in the melding of computer technology with engineering, he created STRUDL in 1966, a computer system that aids engineers in the design of complex structures. Remarkably, 50 years later, descendants of STRUDL are today the most widely used Structural Design & Analysis software applications. Combining his talents with colleagues and friends Joe Sussman (deceased 2018) and Dan Roos, he founded ECI in 1965, a consulting firm that advised large engineering firms around the country about how to use the blossoming mainframe computer in their work. Though his professional accomplishments are many, the true loves of Bob’s life were his family and sailing. The family started early with outdoor adventures, young members of the 4000-footer club doing barebones backpacking in New Hampshire’s White Mountains and using the adorable 4-year-old Daniel as hitchhiking bait to return to their vehicle after mountaintop treks. Sailing since 1973, and members of Jubilee Yacht Club since 1974, Bob and family progressed through three sailboats: a Catalina 22, 27, and 30, before christening their final Cygnet (a Tayana 37 double-ender) in 1982. Together with his wife Chesley (aka The Admiral), Bob wore a trench through the waters between Beverly, Massachusetts, and Georgetown, The Bahamas. They lived aboard Cygnet about 9 months per year, typically departing in September and returning in June. Their many-year tradition was to sail south through the temperate fall, leave the boat in Florida with friends to fly home for Thanksgiving and Christmas with family, and then high-tail it back to the boat, nimbly dodging New England winters. Perfecting the art of the everlasting floating cocktail hour, the two amassed scores of lifelong sailing friends in their travels and adventures at virtually every port between New England and The Bahamas. When Bob wasn’t laughing with friends in boat cockpits or playing volleyball, the professor was still hard at work on Stocking Island, holding seminars on ham radio operation and proctoring exams beachside. Bob was self-sustaining, a clear thinking and independent handyman who kept homes and boats shipshape by accurately diagnosing problems and quickly fixing them. He could do so in a skilled way with the most basic tools, and often under tough conditions at sea and far from help or resources. Bob also shared his handyman skills with other boaters in need. An expert mariner, he was adept with all methods of navigation, from the latest technology to paper charts and even the sextant. Anyone aboard Cygnet was in trustworthy hands. Bob is survived by his cherished wife Chesley (Hastings Tellier); three nearby loving children, Suzanne, Erica, and Daniel; and four grandchildren, Ethan, Emma, Scott, and Amanda. A celebration of life is planned in a month or two, with details to be announced. Donations in lieu of flowers to the American Cancer Society (https://www.cancer.org/involved/donate) or a charity of choice are appreciated.
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