Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rest in Peace, Toshi Seeger

Pete Seeger speaks with attendees at an event at Dia:Beacon April 11 to celebrate Pete Seeger's release of a new audio book. In the background is Seeger's spouse, Toshi Seeger, who died Tuesday night. / Karl Rabe/Journal file

Rest in peace, Toshi.

I learned of her passing a few mintes ago from Suzy Thompson, who wrote. "Toshi Seeger, R.I.P. She was a huge influence on me, though she never knew it. Years ago, around 1980, I played at the Clearwater Festival and noticed Toshi Seeger was picking up trash. The queen of the whole festival and she's picking up trash off the ground!!! When we have the BOTMC String Band Contest (a much much more modest event) I always help pick up the trash at the end, and I always remember Toshi when I do that. What an inspiration. My heart goes out to Pete."

I met Toshi and Pete once at the Beacon town hall, where they had been summoned to receive a lifetime achievement award from the town government.
After all the "whereas" and "therefors" Pete lead a group of kinds, the council members and the dozen or s
o in the audience in a few songs.
Then it struck me, I am going to meet Pete and Toshi, what am I going to say?
In the lobby Pete beat me to it.
He stuck out his hand, shook it firmly and said, "I saw you in the front row singing loudly, YOU are the yeast that makes the bread rise!"
I was flabbergasted.
Toshi looked on, with a coy smile on her face.

Later in my bunk aboard the Mystic Whaler I read the introduction to Sing Out, which concludes, "YOU are the yeast that makes the bread rise!"
I'll give that one to Pete.
And to Toshi for not giving away Pete's secret.

RIP Toshi.

Toshi Seeger by Gene Deitch

Coverage for the new from the Poughkeepsie Journal

Added 7/16/13, from
Clearwater Banner
Toshi Seeger - Photo by Econosmith
Photo by
Toshi Seeger, Clearwater matriarch and wife and partner to Clearwater founder Pete Seeger for almost seventy years, passed away Tuesday, July 9, at home. Toshi Seeger's efforts and influence were key to the founding of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater over 45 years ago, and also to its continued evolution as an environmental organization serving the Hudson River Valley today.

Toshi's contributions to Clearwater over the past four decades are countless and she will be missed by all. Clearwater extends its deepest condolences to Pete Seeger and to the Seeger Family.
...Read More

Please share your memories and reflections on the Clearwater Memorial webpage in the comments section, or to visit the Clearwater Facebook page and post your comments

A time to hug, a time to kiss
A time to close your eyes and wish.
Pete &Toshi 2009 Festival Toshi-Aline Ohta Seeger co-founded Hudson River Sloop Clearwater with husband, musician and activist, Pete Seeger in 1966. Toshi was involved with Clearwater in multiple ways from the organization's beginnings and helped to steer the various folk concerts and events, including Pumpkin Sail and the early incarnations of the Clearwater Festival. She was active in the development of what has been known as the Great Hudson River Revival for 35 years, a music and environmental festival that welcomes over 20,000 visitors to Croton Point Park in Westchester County, NY each year.
If you would like to make a memorial donation, please click here to visit our donations page and select "In Memory of Toshi Seeger" in the drop-down menu in the Gift Designation area.  

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Hudson River Sloop Clearwater
724 Wolcott Avenue
Beacon, NY 12508

Preserving and Protecting the Hudson River.
Creating the Next Generation of Environmental Leaders. 


Jeffrey Hedquist said...

I only met Toshi once, when I performed a concert with Pete in Chicago, but she mad me feel like I had known her for years. The full story is here:

Jeffrey Hedquist said...

I only met Toshi once, when I performed a concert with Pete in Chicago, but she mad me feel like I had known her for years. The full story is here: