Otto Guide publisher Nitschke dies at age 58Written by Michael Miller | Editor in Chief Emeritus | firstname.lastname@example.org
Those with ties to the Toledo arts community say Michael Nitschke was a devoted musician and promoter of their cause.
Nitschke, a Toledo Free Press contributor, was killed July 24 as result of a two-vehicle accident in Amboy Township, the Ohio Highway Patrol said. He was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Nitschke, 58, a Maumee resident and Otto Guide publisher, compiled his database of arts events with Toledo Free Press. The list was formally published in Montage and Otto Guide.
Nitschke said he founded the arts publication in 1995 to encourage exploration of the arts in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.
“[I created Otto Guide] to let people know the extent of the arts that existed in the region and provide a resource to find events,” he told Toledo Free Press earlier this year. He was battling cancer and had endured two bone marrow transplant operations.
“He was very supportive of all of the arts in Toledo,” said artist Leslie Adams. “He really did [Otto Guide] because he was truly devoted to the arts in this region and getting word out to other areas.”
Keith McWatters, Toledo Symphony Orchestra manager, said Nitschke played clarinet and saxophone in the Toledo Concert Band, which performed Sunday nights at the Toledo Zoo. He said he knew Nitschke for more than 20 years.
“He was a good player and had a great attitude,” McWatters said. “It was always nice to have him on the bandstand. It was always a pleasure to have him around.”
Julie Ann Boesenhofer, box office manager for the Toledo Opera, said Nitschke believed in local artists and dedicated himself to promoting them.
“It’s a loss to the arts community in the area because Michael really devoted himself to promoting all of the arts in the community,” Boesenhofer said.
Ken Thompson, president of the Toledo Federation of Art Societies, said Nitschke was a great musician and an even better person.
“Michael will certainly be missed,” Thompson said. “He was the one person who always wrote about the arts in Toledo.”
Toledo Free Press Publisher Thomas F. Pounds said, “Michael’s contributions and dedication to promoting the arts will be missed.” He said the newspaper plans to continue the weekly “Short List” events guide based on Nitschke’s work.
Funeral arrangements were pending at press time.