Benjamin Israel remembered

Benjamin Israel, 65, died Monday after a lengthy period of ill health. There will be no funeral for Mr. Israel, who donated his body “ to serve science after death.”

A memorial service is scheduled Saturday between noon and 1 p.m. at the St. Louis Art Museum in the East Building in a private room of the Panoroma Restaurant.

His wife of 25 years, Virginia, said she “Just lost my boy friend.”

“He wanted to be an agent for social change,” she said, “whether it was leafleting or campaigning for one of his many causes.”

Don Corrigan, a professor at Webster University, called Mr. Israel, “A fellow of integrity that few of us can match.”

Mr. Israel was immersed in local and national media, and he had a deep knowledge of African-American history. For years, he was a frequent contributor to the former St. Louis Journalism Review and to Gateway Journalism Review.

He had recently been a writing tutor at Harris-Stowe State University. His reporting has been published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, North County Journal, Jefferson County Leader and the Columbia Tribune.

He received his B.A. at University of Missouri’s School of Journalism in Columbia and his M.A. at University of Missouri-St. Louis in history.
Besides his wife, he is survived by his sister, Sylvia Woodbury, and daughters Rosaclaire Baisinger, Zainab Smith and April Heermance; sons Josh Baisinger, Aasim Inshirah and Atief Heermance; and two granddaughters.