Blade Staff Writer
Fred Nofziger, writer and editor of The Blade for 35 years, whose award-winning Sunday travel articles guided readers to places near and far, died Saturday at Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville, Florida. He was 92 years old.
He collapsed at home and was taken to hospital, where it was discovered that a blood vessel had burst in his lungs, said his wife, Hope Nofziger, who retired as a manager. Blade credit. The couple moved to Florida last March from Monclova Township.
Mr. Nofziger ended his career in the feature film department of The Blade, where he edited the Peach and Sunday sections and became a leisure editor and travel writer. Previously, he served as Deputy City Editor and State Editor. He retired in 1991.
In a farewell column, he wrote that he had worked on every desk except editorial writing and sports.
“At The Blade, I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the best journalists in the world, leading men and women in the business who have truly made The Blade one of America’s greatest,” he wrote. “They also made a new journalist feel at home, while teaching him lessons that have become more valuable over the years.”
The Society of American Travel Writers, Central States Chapter, awarded him first place in 1987 for a series of articles on a cruise and Epcot tour package. The group also recognized him for an article about Custer State Park in South Dakota’s Black Hills and, in the “humor/pathos” category, for his story about an early bird – the travel writer – who arrived at the airport a few hours before flight time.
In 1988, the Midwest Travel Writers’ Association awarded Mr. Nofziger its Mark Twain Award for Best Series. His subjects were Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Capitol Reef National Parks in Utah.
By sharing his experiences, his wife said, readers “could see what they were missing and that it wasn’t beyond their reach.”
A trip to San Antonio in January 1985 for a meeting of the Society of American Travel Writers became an adventure worth telling after a record eight-inch snowfall.
“Remember the Alamo? Forget it,” Mr. Nofziger wrote for The Blade. “We slid through windblown, wet, sticky snow and just walked out the door when we were notified that the Texas Independence Shrine was closing in 30 minutes.”
He was a former officer of the Midwest Travel Writers’ Association.
Mr. Nofziger, former president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio, for years edited columns for Lou Klewer, the pioneering editor of The Blade, and wrote about his own longtime outdoor interests, including the camping and hiking.
Steve Pollick first knew Mr. Nofziger through the Outdoor Writers of Ohio. Then Mr. Pollick became a staff writer at Blade, and “he took me under his wing. He was like a big brother mentor to me.
“He had been a police reporter, a beat reporter. He knew the ropes,” said Mr. Pollick, now retired, who took over from Mr. Klewer on the outdoor beat.
Mr Nofziger was so sweet, ‘you really had to stop and pay attention to what he was saying,’ Mr Pollick said. “Fred just wasn’t shaken.”
Tom Dawson, a retired Buckeye Broadband executive, recalled receiving assignments as a Blade reporter from Mr. Nofziger, delivered almost in a low voice, “like, ‘I have a secret for you.’ Everything that needed to be done, he did.”
Frederick D. Nofziger was born November 9, 1929 to Ruth and Lester Nofziger and grew up in Manitou Beach, Michigan. He was a graduate of Addison High School and Adrian College and worked for the Adrian Daily Telegram. He received a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
Surviving are his wife, the former Hope Rauch Schultz, whom he married on February 15, 1975; daughter-in-law, Pamela Lee Dawson; two granddaughters and five great-grandchildren.
He was to be cremated and there will be no services, his wife said.
Published by The Blade on January 23, 2022.