CHARLES CITY — As the casket bearers brought 15-year-old Logan Luft into the Charles City Middle School Gymnasium, Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” played in the background.
That was the song Logan chose to walk out to for his debut wrestling match for the Comets this winter. The song also was played as he was wheeled into the operating room Friday.
“Logan never quit,” Logan’s wrestling coach Leslie Staudt said.
More than 1,600 people gathered Wednesday at the middle school to remember Logan who died as result of an ATV accident July 4. Logan would have entered ninth grade this year.
He was preparing for the 106-pound spot on the Comets varsity wrestling team, Staudt said. Though the team feels the loss, Staudt said Logan will always be with them.
Speakers at the celebration of life all noted Logan was a giving, caring and inspiring leader.
“We come to mourn, but we come to celebrate,” Pastor Robert Williams said.
Williams said Logan was passionate about three activities: wrestling, fishing and running.
He quoted 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
“Doesn’t that sound just like Logan?” Williams asked.
Williams talked about how Logan lived a life of faith, and in death he was able to give life.
“Logan gave life; he finished strong,” Williams said. “Luft Tuff, baby.”
Five individuals received organ donation from Logan and many others could benefit from tissue donation.
Family representatives, teachers and coaches on Wednesday said organ donation and helping others is exactly what Luft would have wanted.
Tony Hakes of the Iowa Donor Network said the tissue donations could help 50 to 75 people.
Dozens of people attending the celebration wore “#LuftTuff” shirts for Donate Life.
Logan excelled in cross country and encouraged his teammates to push harder. Cross country coach Erik Hoefer spoke at the celebration. Logan ran cross country for two years and was dedicated at every practice even when injured.
“He broke many things,” Hoefer said. “Records and bones.”
Hoefer said Logan was a boy of few words but when he spoke people listened. When he spoke his words fell into three categories, Hoefer said: inspirational, encouraging or sidesplitting funny.
Ryan Rahmiller, Logan’s eighth -grade-teacher, spoke as well, talking about how giving Logan was.
“He was a teenage boy and he liked to joke around,” Rahmiller told the Globe Gazette.
During the service, he read a letter Logan wrote to his future self in English class this past school year.
“I’m excited about the high school ladies, too,” he read, as those in the room laughed.
Nearly 70 law enforcement and emergency personnel attended in support of the family. Logan’s father, Lenny Luft, is a Charles City police officer.
Charles City Police Chief Hugh Anderson said the Lufts are family and the loss is felt through the department.
“I knew Logan when he was little,” Anderson said. “Families come together.”
Mitchell County, Cerro Gordo County and Floyd County sheriff’s deputies attended in addition to AMR Ambulance and other agencies.