Pete Seeger's Friends, Fans Attend Unplanned Memorial Service

Pete Seeger performing at a Paul Robeson benefit concert in the United Kingdom on Jan. 1, 1963.

(Photo by Brian Shuel/Redferns)

Hundreds of friends and fans joined in song Sunday to honor Pete Seeger, doing what the folk singer loved best.

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Seeger died Jan. 27 at age 94; no services were planned. But Libby Funeral Home in Beacon held a reception Sunday. By early afternoon, more than 1,000 people had visited the funeral home, where an urn containing Seeger's ashes was displayed along with photos and Seeger's wood-splitting maul.

At one point, a packed roomful of people sang "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," one of the early folk ballads penned by Seeger. His family hosted the reception at the funeral home, where two rooms were decorated with numerous quilts, photographs and memorabilia, said Seeger's granddaughter Isabelle Blossom-Seeger.

Seeger and his wife Toshi, who died in July, lived in Beacon for 40 years. They founded the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and the Great Hudson River Revival, an annual music and environmental festival at Croton Point Park.

The singer-songwriter, political activist and environmentalist was known for such folk classics as "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "If I Had a Hammer."

Blossom-Seeger said a memorial concert will be scheduled some time this summer.

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