Valley Advocate Publisher Dies at 46

Kathy Nylic succumbs to three-year fight with cancer.

Valley Advocate Publisher Kathy Nylic, who had worked at the Advocate Weekly papers for 19 years, died Sunday at the age of 46 after a three-year battle with breast cancer.

Nylic’s colleagues said the alternative-newsweekly veteran had an amazing ability to fight the disease while maintaining her enthusiasm. Editor Dan Caccavaro said Nylic was so energetic that many of the paper’s newcomers didn’t know about her longtime illness. It was easy to think she would beat it, he said.

“Kathy was an incredibly kind person,” Caccavaro said. “Being a publisher, you have a tremendous amount of pressure. You can just imagine the amount of stress she was under. But if you went into her office, she dropped everything. She was all ears.”

Nylic climbed through several sales and management positions and was named publisher of the Valley and Springfield Advocate newspapers in 1997. Under her direction, the two publications were successfully merged in 1998.

Nylic was an active member of the western Massachusetts community served by her 65,000-circulation paper . She donated her time and the paper’s sponsorship to many charitable and artistic organizations, including the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, the Northampton Center for the Arts, the Northampton Film Festival and the AIDS Foundation of Western Massachusetts.

“Our friend, our colleague is going to be sorely and deeply missed,” said Advocate Weekly CEO Fran Zankowski. “She was a vigorous and exciting friend and colleague whose vision and energy made us work harder — and enjoy it.”

The Valley Advocate will run a full-page story about Nylic and her contributions in this week’s edition, which hits the streets Thursday.

Kathy is survived by her husband, Bernard Nylic; her parents, Anthony and Ruth (Theriaque) Olszewski; her brother, Anthony Olszewski III; her sister, Sandra J. Kent, and several nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made to the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club, 615 Main St., West Springfield, MA 01089.

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