June 18, 1944 ~ February 18, 2010
Resided in: Atlanta, GA
Atlanta activist and writer Denis J. Adelsberger, 65, died Feb. 18 after a long battle with lung cancer. During the Vietnam War, he was co-coordinator of the Atlanta Workshop in Nonviolence where he counseled conscientious objectors — civilians and service members — and organized many demonstrations promoting peace and civil rights.
Mr. Adelsberger arrived in Atlanta in 1969 after being drafted in the Army and refusing to wear his uniform as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War. He was briefly imprisoned and received an undesirable discharge. He said he cautioned those he counseled about the legal and personal risks they were facing. “I talk more people out of it than into it,” he said in a 1969 article in the New York Times Magazine. “It’s not a game.”
He organized the Peoples Fair: a Celebration of Life in Piedmont Park in 1972 as a positive alternative to the standard protests of that era.
Mr. Adelsberger wrote for a number of Atlanta publications, including Atlanta Magazine and several alternative newspapers. He also wrote and delivered a commentary program called Tirade on public radio where he discussed political and social issues.
He also worked for many years in the trade show industry before retiring in 2007. He was also a labor activist and member of IATSE Local 834.
Mr. Adelsberger was preceded in death by sister Maryann and brother Thomas, both of Philadelphia, Pa., and is survived by sister Lorette Lefebvre of Willow Grove, Pa.; brothers Joseph of Eugene, Ore., and Bernard of Fairfax Station, Va.; and spiritual sister Dorothy Pirzad of Atlanta. A memorial will be held March 19 at 4 p.m. at the Euclid Avenue Yatch Club, 1136 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta. Donations in Mr. Adelsbergers memory can be made to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Home, 760 Pollard Blvd. SW, Atlanta, GA 30315. Arrangements by the Cremation Society of Georgia 404- 355-7627