First Annual LeRoy Wolins Memorial Dinner

Formally Spring/Elbe Day Dinner

Saturday, April 22, 2006, 6:00 P.M. at the Szechuan-Beijing Restaurant, 1107 South Blvd. Oak Park, IL.

(just East of Harlem at the Lake St. "L," about 1 mile North of I-290)

On Saturday, April 22, 2006, 6:00 P.M., the Cpl. Joseph E. Powers-Chicago Area Chapter 26 of Veterans for Peace, Inc. will hold our First Annual LeRoy Wolins Memorial Dinner (formerly the Spring/Elbe Day Dinner) at the Szechuan-Beijing Restaurant, 1107 South Blvd. (just East of Harlem at the Lake St. "L", about 1 mile North of I-290), Oak Park, IL. Prices run typically about $10-15 per person, excluding drinks.

Those wishing to attend the Dinner MUST confirm reservations by Friday, April 14, 2006, so that we may accurately inform the restaurant as to how many diners to expect! email me

The Dinner is open to all Chicago Area members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out and Gold Star Families for Peace and other veterans and military family members interested in working on current peace issues!

LeRoy Wolins (May 26, 1929-December 17, 2005), was among the founders of "Veterans for Peace in Vietnam," in Chicago in January 1966 and was active until the organization, "Veterans for Peace," since 1970, formally affiliated with the current "Veterans for Peace, Inc." as Chicago Area Chapter 26 in August 1988. LeRoy was a Korean War Veteran and earned a Master's Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Chicago, prior to his military service.
He ran "Russian Language Specialties," dealing in Russian and Slavic language publications until 2002. LeRoy left behind his long time companion, Dorothy Kemp of Kalamazoo, MI. a son, Tye of Fennville, MI. and three grandchildren.

I hope to see everyone at both of these events!

Mike Woloshin
Chapter President

From Leroy Wolins (spelled in FBI document as “LeRoi Wolins”, “LeRoi Wollins”) (1927-): Psychology professor. During the 1950s served as secretary of Chicago chapter of National Council of Soviet-American Friendship (formerly the Friends of the Soviet Union/National Council on Soviet Relations), a CP front. Founded Veterans for Peace in Vietnam (VFP) in January 1966. Identified as CP member in 1968 FBI testimony and 1970 House Internal Security Committee testimony. Helped New York VFP member Ron Wolin (see entry) and New York CP member Corliss Lamont (see entry) promote Vietnam veteran participation in a 1967 VFP Memorial Day demonstration, resulting in the creation of the VVAW.

Political activist backed many causes: Anti-war crusader
Chicago Sun-Times, Dec 23, 2005 by Stefano Esposito

LeRoy Wolins' bargain-brand clothes often sagged from the weight of the pens, paper clips and elastic bands stuffed into every pocket. The Chicago native wanted to be prepared in case he needed to clip together fliers or have a petition signed for one of his many left-leaning causes.

In truth, Mr. Wolins' zeal for politics could be maddening, said his girlfriend of 25 years, Dorothy Kemp. "He would talk incessantly," Kemp said. Once, "when he needed to make a speech, I told [the organizers] to put a time limit on LeRoy because he would not stop at half an hour. He didn't know how." The anti-war, anti-greed, pro-environment crusader died Saturday, apparently of a heart attack, at his home in South Haven, Mich. He was 76. He had no life insurance. He thought it was a ripoff. He left his body to science. "He thought you didn't need to be put in a $5,000 casket," Kemp said.

As a child growing up in Chicago, Mr. Wolins was noticeably different from other kids. When he was young, his mother would get upset with him because he wouldn't be out playing baseball or kickball," Kemp said. "He was inside, with his ear glued to the radio, listening to [President Franklin D.] Roosevelt speeches." He learned to love history and to file away innumerable dates and facts in his head.

Mr. Wolins finished high school in Chicago, then spent two years at UCLA, he but never really took to the West Coast, Kemp said. He eventually earned a master's degree in city planning from the University of Chicago. Back at home, Mr. Wolins protested the Vietnam War and tried to get young people to understand the horrors of war. For much of his life, Mr. Wolins ran a business selling Russian- language books to colleges and universities. His interest in all things Russian and his politics drew the attention of the U.S. government. The FBI kept a file on him, and he was called to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, Kemp said. Later, he pushed for alternative fuels and urged the big automakers to get more hybrid cars to market. Mr. Wolins drove a black Ford Ranger truck he got cheap because it had been damaged by hail. He couldn't afford a hybrid, Kemp said.

It would be unfair to label Mr. Wolins a socialist, Kemp said. "I don't think you can put him in a category," she said. "He voted Democrat many times, but he said he had to hold his nose when he did it," she said. For a man who relished bargains -- "If he could buy two pairs of pants for $15, he would," Kemp said -- Mr. Wolins liked the good life. He and Kemp often took cruises in the Caribbean. On one such trip, Mr. Wolins filled an entire suitcase with books and pamphlets so he wouldn't fall behind on his political reading.

Survivors include a son, Tye Wolins of Fennville, Mich., and three grandchildren.

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