Memorial for Abbie Hoffman To Begin With Peace March
WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) _ Friends famous and obscure are headed to this industrial city to mourn native son Abbie Hoffman, whose memorial service Wednesday starts with a peace march in the city where his activism began.
Hoffman, 52, was found dead on April 12 at his home in New Hope, Pa., and his body has been cremated. A coroner said Tuesday that Hoffman committed suicide by swallowing the drug phenobarbitl mixed with alcohol.
But his brother, Jack Hoffman, insisted that the death was accidental.
″I just think he took a little too many and he took a good slug of booze,″ he said. ″My brother had a very strong love and affection for me and he wouldn’t have left me alone like this.″
The residue of about 150 pills and alcohol were found in his system.
″Abbie, as many of you know, was somewhat careless with pills and we always warned him about this kind of thing,″ said Jack Hoffman, who managed his brother’s finances.
In the past week, newspapers have editorialized about Hoffman’s antics, such as burning money at the New York Stock Exchange and naming his book ″Steal This Book.″
Vandals last weekend spray-painted ″steal this courthouse″ on a building where he was tried with Amy Carter, daughter of former President Carter, for their arrests during a 1986 anti-CIA demonstration.
His family has been flooded with letters, telegrams and condolence calls from entertainers, the Carter family, even foreign embassies, his brother said. ″I’m not going to say which,″ he said. ″Let’s just say some of our NATO friends.″
In keeping with Hoffman’s career, his family has planned a noon peace march Wednesday from his mother’s house to Temple Emanuel, which he attended as a child and where a memorial service will be held.
″I want it to be a celebration,″ Hoffman said. ″I want everybody to be singing and swinging and swaying.″
Folk singer Pete Seeger volunteered to lead the march and sing protest songs, he said.
Jack Hoffman said his brother died nearly broke, despite his book contracts and success on the lecture circuit. ″He gave just about everything away,″ he said. ″He didn’t die with a Rolex. He died with a full heart.″
Besides his brother and mother, Hoffman leaves a sister, Phyllis; three children from his two marriages; and his long-time companion, Johanna Lawrenson. Hoffman’s ashes were given to Ms. Lawrenson, his brother said.