PT man’s five-generation photo a rarity

Posted 12/4/19

A person could be forgiven for not seeing much in Dan Logan’s prize photo.

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PT man’s five-generation photo a rarity

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A person could be forgiven for not seeing much in Dan Logan’s prize photo.

If you don’t know the story, it’s just someone else’s family crowded onto a couch.

But Logan had to drive 100 miles from Port Townsend to Des Moines - twice - to finally get everyone in the photo...all five living generations of his family.

Which is what got him thinking that it was something special. Asking around, he couldn’t find any friends whose family bridged five full generations.

Pam Wilson, coordinator of the Jefferson County Genealogical Society’s Research Center on Airport Cutoff Road, said four living generations is not exceptional, but five is rare. “I don’t know that I’ve actually seen a photograph,” she said. “I’ve heard of it occasionally, but five I’m not sure I’ve ever personally seen in forty years of doing genealogy.”

According to Guinness World Records, the record (seven living generations) was set when Augusta Bunge of Medford, Wisconsin made it to 110 years old, living to see the birth of her great-great-great-great grandson in January of 1989.

Logan’s mother, Penny Logan Lawrence, 93, still drives a little and spends half her year in Apache Junction, Arizona, the other half in Des Moines.

She lives on her own, but three of his family’s five generations share a home in Puyallup.

Multi-generational households were a fixture of nostalgic novels about rural life until recently, when they became a more common fixture of modern life.

The Great Recession and shifts in the workforce have prompted families to share housing to save money.

Now, according to Generations United (a nonprofit that advocates for programs and policies that help intergenerational households), about one fifth of Americans live with family members from another generation. They put the number at 64 million or more nationwide.

One factor in the growing trend is that people are living longer. Another is that young couples are putting off marriage. A third is that the cost of housing is outstripping incomes.

That’s what’s happening in Dan Logan’s family.

His great-grandson, grand-son and 50-year-old daughter Danielle Tope share a home near Puyallup while the grand-daughter and her husband save money to buy their own home.

That’s a key factor to the rise in multi-generational families, Generations United theorizes. Sharing housing makes economic sense.

Whatever the theories and data, Logan says the picture excites him every time he sees it.

“For myself, I was thinking this is really something,” said the retired Boeing machinist. “It took me two different trips on two different weeks to put this together. I couldn’t get my daughter and grandson (25-year-old Logan Henrichs) and great-grandson (four month old Noah Henrichs) together all in the same picture.”

When he finally got it, he called his little sister Colleen to tell her. “She cried a little bit. If you want the truth, I had a little tear in my eye because I wished my dad was there. He just loved family, as I do.”

Logan said that may be because his father, serving in World War II, didn’t lay eyes on him until he was three years old.

“At my age, you realize the friends you used to have are gone,” he said. “I just lost one of my best friends and I have two left, one from high school and one form work.”

As he ages, he wants more time with his daughter and grand and great-grand-son. “Family...That’s all we have at our age, now.”

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