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Family, friends gather to lay Jeannette toddler to rest

| Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013, 5:15 p.m.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Motorcyclists with Logan's name on their motorcycles roll out as part of the funeral procession for Logan Stevenson on Saturday, August 10, 2013, outside the Mason-Gelder Funeral Home in Jeannette.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Newlywed Christine Stevenson kisses the hand of her 2-year-old son, Logan, after she married his father, Sean Stevenson, in a ceremony Saturday in the backyard of their Jeannette home. Logan, who is terminally ill, served as his parents' best man. For more, see Page 7. Best man inspires his parents

Logan Stevenson lived only two years, but during that short time, the chubby-cheeked little boy touched many people's lives, a minister, family members and friends said on Saturday.

“His life has had an impact over the whole world,” the Rev. Jan Zotter said during a service attended by 75 family members and friends in the Mason-Gelder Funeral Home in Jeannette.

A world audience watched as the Jeannette child, in his final days, served as the best man for his parents' hastily planned backyard wedding only eight days ago.

Christine and Sean Stevenson brought Logan home July 26 after doctors at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh told them he had two to three weeks to live. The couple scuttled plans for a July 2014 wedding and planned a ceremony and reception so Logan could be part of it.

Logan, who was born on Oct. 22, 2010, died Monday night, surrounded by his parents, family members and loved ones.

He suffered from Fanconi anemia, a rare disease that often leads to cancer. During his life, he endured leukemia, a stem cell transplant and the loss of a kidney.

“He was a fighter,” said Seth Antoniak, who stood beside Logan and the couple as they took their vows.

“He was 2 and had everything thrown at him,” added Antoniak, one of Sean Stevenson's best friends.

Zotter was the only speaker during the service. But others shared their feelings in notes placed with pictures of Logan on poster boards with such headings as “Sweet Baby,” “We Miss You Already” and “The Best Man.”

“Heaven, I am told, is such a beautiful place, free of illness and hurt,” stated one letter from Logan's grandparents, Debbie and Larry Stevenson. “Even though it was heartbreaking to let you go, Heaven is very lucky to have you.

“Don't worry about us. We will find a way to go on,” the note adds. “You will always be in grandma's heart forever, and I will never forget my little Ba Ba.”

“You are a tiny angel that has blessed us every day,” added an uncle in another note.

When a child passes, everyone has the same question, said Zotter, pastor of Allison Park Church.

“Why — why does this happen to a child?” she said.

“We don't know, because God is so much bigger than we are,” she added. “There are mysteries of God that we can't fathom.”

Zotter compared understanding God's will to a child trying to figure out why parents keep saying no. The child cannot understand his parents' wishes; people cannot grasp God's plan, she said.

But one day, Logan's family and friends will understand the reason, when they are where Logan now is, she added.

“Logan is with God, the Father,” Zotter said. “I bet he's playing baseball. I bet he's seeing the horses there.”

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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