Long time community activist and W-O-R-T volunteer Lea Zeldin passed away recently following a massive stroke. Leaâ€™s family invites her many friends from throughout the community to a memorial on Saturday, April 11th beginning at 5pm, at the Madison Labor Temple, 1602 S. Park St. The memorial will begin with a potluck. Bring your favorite dish for Lea who so loved great food and conversation. (Beverages will be provided by the family.) Following the potluck there will be an opportunity to share stories and remembrances of Lea.
Lea Zeldin, an activist for social justice, world peace, civil rights, and health care for all, died Thursday, April 3, 2009, from complications of a stroke in Madison, at age 80. Lea was born in Chicago, Ill., April 20, 1928, to Edward E. Kellner and Julia (Weisbrot) Kellner. She became involved in issues of social justice after a school trip to an Ohio prison, and by walking the picket lines for a telephone workers strike. She met her husband, Lawrence Zeldin, at Ohio State University while attending a lecture series. They were married in Columbus, where he completed a Ph.D. in Chemistry. They moved to Madison in 1953. Lawrence died in 1955 from polio. Lea was active in the anti-nuclear movement in the 1950s. She worked with Congress On Racial Equality or CORE, in the 1960s to integrate Sears. Her anti-Vietnam War actions included demonstrations at the 1964 Wisconsin Republican and Democratic State Conventions, participating in the Dow Chemical protests at the University of Wisconsin, and performing in the anti-war play “MacBird!” Lea lived in Bologna, Italy from 1964 to 1966. She worked as a community organizer in Minneapolis, Minn., from 1969 to 1971. An intrepid traveler, she attended conferences on health care, Slow Food, women’s rights, community radio, and small farms in Mexico, Libya, Jordan, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Lea organized the Martin Luther King Free Community Dinners, worked with Response to Hunger Network, Health Writers, Woman’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Low Power Radio (WIDE), the Socialist Potluck, Freedom House Free School, and other organizations. Lea was a volunteer at WORT (89.9FM) Radio, hosting Kitchen Review, Health Writers, Public Affair, and book reviews. Lea is survived by her sons, Stephen (Rebecca Ludwig), Robin (Jeanette), Paul (Sarita), and Eric (Shari); and grandchildren, Rachel, Raphael, Emma, Noah, Jacob, and Julia. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to WORT-FM89.9, 118 S. Bedford St, Madison, WI 53703.
Although i didn’t know Lea very well or for that long, she is someone I aspire to be more like.