EDGEFIELD, S.C. -- Ninety-six years full of life just couldn't go by without a celebration.
William Logue would have wanted a big funeral. He would have loved being the center of attention. He would have loved having people he loved surround him. He would have tried to feed them all.
The World War II veteran died Monday afternoon, and on Thursday, his family made a way to honor both social distancing and the man they called Papa Bill.
Logue was eulogized from the broad front porch of the Edgefield church his family helped found more than 200 years ago. His wife of 71 years, their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews sat together in folding chairs in front of Little Stevens Creek Baptist Church, surrounded by several dozen of Logue's friends, neighbors and fellow church members, who sat in their cars in the parking lot.
They rolled down their windows and cracked their doors to hear Pastor Ryan Vaughn deliver a front-porch funeral. It was a unique way of mourning death and celebrating life at a time when fears of the highly infectious coronavirus have forced many families to alter or forego funeral plans for their loved ones.
"When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure," said Vaughn, the former pastor of Little Stevens Creek who frequently visited Logue in his later years and delivered his funeral sermon.
Vaughn said Logue's family members described him as:
"Stern, but fair."
"If you grew up in his house under his leadership it was his way; there was no highway option."
"He was a great gentleman of heroic strength -- been known to pick up almost an entire piano just by himself."