Toshi-Aline Ohta Seeger , wife of folk music icon Pete Seeger, passed away overnight on Tuesday, July 9th, 2013. She was a mother, an organizer, an activist and filmmaker ... and an essential part of all of her husband's work. She was 91.
Toshi Ohta was born in Munich, Germany, to an American mother and a Japanese father. Her parents brought her to the U.S. when she was six months old, as soon as it became legal for the two to be married there. They found an apartment in New York City, where her father found work as the building's caretaker.
Toshi grew up in a family of progressives. She went to the High School of Music and Art, and. after a few years of friendship, meeting Pete at square dances around NYC, Pete and Toshi were married in 1943, just before Pete was about to ship out overseas. She was age 21 at the time. Pete wrote in his autobiography that they "found we had much in common. Her parents were extraordinary people. We were all very close. Her mother, descended from Old Virginny (slave owners), had declared her independence from that racist part of her tradition, moved to Greenwich Village, married a Japanese who was in political exile, as militarists were taking over his homeland. He did important and dangerous work for the U.S. Army in WWII."
While he was overseas during the war, Pete and Toshi corresponded via letters incessantly.
In 1949, following the war, the two moved to Beacon, NY, where they raised their children Danny, Mika and Tinya. They built a cabin for shelter, and lived in that beautiful woodland mountain ever since.
We Will Make Peace Prevail!
On March 28, 1982 the New World Review organized a gala luncheon "We Will Make Peace Prevail! Disarmament Over Confrontation, Life Over Death", at the Grand Ballroom, Hotel Roosevelt, New York City. Virtually all participants were identified as Communist Party USA.