In Memorium

Karl Bissinger, 1914-2008

Karl in the WRL office.  © 1974 Grace Hedemann

Beloved longtime WRL staff member Karl Bissinger succumbed to a stroke on November 19. Karl was an energetic and creative fund raiser, an enthusiastic civil disobedient, a generous host to countless meetings, and - most important - a loyal and supportive friend to hundreds of Greenwich Village artists and activists and a devoted, loving partner to Dick Hanley.

Before joining WRL, Karl was a world-renowned photographer and served as a draft counselor and underground railroad conductor for thousands of Vietnam-era resisters.

Memorial for long-time WRL staff member Karl Bissinger

A memorial for long-time War Resisters League staff member Karl Bissinger will be held on Thursday, January 29, 6 pm in the Community Room at Westbeth (155 Bank Street) in the west Village. Karl, who died last November, began his involvement with WRL and the peace movement 50 years ago and was on the WRL staff from 1973 to 2006. In the 1940s and 50s he was a noted photographer before getting involved in the peace movement.

Death and Taxes . . . and a whole lot of fun

by Ruth Benn


It’s like a double whammy losing Ralph at this time of year.

He died on February 1, early on in tax season and just as Ed and I were working on the “Where Your Income Taxes Really Go” flyer. It’s also just when baseball season is starting up. Players are heading to spring training and tickets are on sale. Normally, Ralph and I would be talking about how many pie charts to print and whether we would be able to get tickets for opening day at Shea.

Remembering Ralph

by David McReynolds

(from EdgeLeft: An occasional column which can be freely used, sent on, etc.)

This afternoon, February 1st, I got a call from Ruth Benn that Ralph DiGia, 93, had died at St. Vincent’s here in New York City. I had visited him this past Saturday and sensed he was losing his battle — he had fallen and broken a hip about two weeks ago, got an infection in the hospital (hospitals in the US are notoriously dangerous places for the sick and wounded to go!), and despite rallying several times, died.

Ralph DiGia: 1914-2008

Ralph DiGia in 1992

Ralph DiGia, lifelong war resister and pacifist died February 1 in New York City. Ralph had a bad fall a couple of weeks ago, broke his hip, and has had a series of serious health problems following his admission to St. Vincent's Hospital.

Ralph, 93, has been the heart and soul of War Resisters League since he came on staff shortly after the end of World War II and his release from federal prison, where he had served a term for refusing service as a conscientious objector.


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