Remembering Peter Ediger, 1926-2012

Peter J. Ediger, poet, prophet and peacemaker, died in Las Vegas February 16 after a brief illness. Ediger resided in Las Vegas, where he co-founded Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service in 1989 with the Franciscan Friars of California.

The lifelong activist and advocate for nonviolence, social justice and Christian pacifism had recently directed his prophetic words to local churches, challenging them to obey Jesus’ command to “love your enemies.” In addition to regular work with Pace e Bene, he worked part time for Family Promise and served as a member of the Las Vegas Catholic Worker and Nevada Desert Experience communities until near his death.

Born to Jacob H. Ediger and Margaretha (Wiens) in central Kansas in 1926, Ediger was ordained by the General Conference Mennonite Church (now Mennonite Church USA) in 1954 and pastored several Mennonite congregations until 1986.

He was preceded in death by ex-wife Marjorie Reimer Ediger and brothers Abraham and Menno, and survived by sisters Katherina Epp, Marie Regehr, Anne Martin, and Elma Kauffman; children Irene, Joe, Janice and Duane; and grandchildren Jack, Greta and Sallie.

The memorial service is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 21, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 4601 W. Lake Meade Blvd, Las Vegas.

For more information, contact Duane Ediger, 312-523-9955.

See www.peterediger.blogspot.com for a blog that follows events during Peter’s illness.

Editor’s Note: Here, also, is a piece written by Fr. John Dear about Peter and his passion for peace: http://ncronline.org/blogs/road-peace/raising-question-peace-outside-churches-all-faiths

From Joy to Sorrow: about Peter Ediger

Dear Friends,

Even as we experience the joy of our dear Bix’s release from prison and his good health, another peacemaker has experienced a dramatic decline.

Peter Ediger, longtime peacemaker, was hospitalized toward the end of January due to serious medical issues.  I do not have enough details to even begin to properly explain, but suffice to say that he needs for us to hold him deep in our hearts in this extraordinarily difficult time.

I do not know Peter personally, although I have gotten to know him through his work and his writings, including “Living with the Wolf: Walking the Way of Nonviolence.”  As JIm Haber put it, Peter is known by many “because of his booming voice singing at gatherings like the recent CW [Catholic Worker] gathering in Las Vegas, his activism at Rocky Flats, the Nevada Test Site with Nevada Desert Experience, and his work for Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service.”

Megan Rice just this morning reported that Peter, “companion in nuclear resistance to us all… has had a quick decline after two days of real awakening just last night….”

You can follow Peter’s progress at the blog his son Duane set up at http://peterediger.blogspot.com/.

If you’d like to send Peter a message, email it to Ryan Hall at Pace Bene, (ryanhall@paceebene.org), and he will be certain to get it to him.

Peace,

Leonard

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