Clem T. Otolski, 63, the longtime publisher of The LaPorte (Ind.) Herald-Argus died March 8 of a neuromuscular disease he battled for 16 months.
Otolski learned the newspaper business from the ground up at the Herald-Argus, where he worked for 41 years. He started at the newspaper on Feb. 1, 1961, as a junior accountant — one month after graduating with an accounting degree from the University of Notre Dame. He then served as business manager from November 1964 until he was named publisher in March 1985.
Otolski was only the fifth publisher of the Herald-Argus since the Oct. 1, 1924, merger of the Daily Herald and the Argus Bulletin.
Described as having a strong sense of civic duty, Otolski served on the boards of various community organizations, including the LaPorte Redevelopment Commission, the LaPorte Economic Advancement Foundation, and the LaPorte Salvation Army.
Born Dec. 23, 1938, in South Bend, Ind., Otolski was raised in a Polish neighborhood and attended Roman Catholic grade school and high school. His oldest son, Greg, followed in his father?s footsteps as a newspaperman and is now the editor of The Criterion, the weekly newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
Otolski is survived by his wife of 41 years, Pat; five sons, Greg, Mike, Brian, Steve, and Tom; daughter Shelly Otwinowski; nine grandchildren, and his mother, Sophie.