OTTAWA, Ont. – The international leather community was shaken today with news that Jon Letke, aka pup Nizzi, Mr. Leather Ottawa 2014 and a Top 20 Finalist for IML, had passed away. He was 25. Toronto’s Daily Xtra has reported he died in an apparent suicide.
The Mr. Leather Ottawa organization confirmed the news on its Facebook page.
It is with a very heavy heart that we share the tragic news of the passing of our friend, titleholder and brother in leather, Mr.Leather Ottawa 2014 Jon Nizzi.
Jon was one of the most caring people you’d ever meet. He was so eager to help others and give back to the community that welcomed him when he came to the city. Many people can easily remember his enthusiasm and kindness towards his brothers and sisters in leather. He was so much more than a titleholder. He represented what was great about our community and helped bring a lot of us together.
We all have our favourite memories of Jon’s life and the person he always will be in our hearts and minds. I invite you, if you wish, to share some of your memories in this post. Even though his life has come to an end much sooner than it should have, he will live on through us.
My thoughts and prayers go to all of my brothers and sisters in the community, especially his partner Steve Loki. We all mourn and remember together and I hope those grieving remember that there is always somebody to talk to and share your pain with.
We may have our differences, but we are all part of the same community and same family. We are here to care for each other so please, do not hesitate to reach out to another if you ever need to.
As of Friday evening, there has been no formal announcement on the cause of death.
Condolences were left both on Jon’s personal Facebook page and his title page. David Payne, Mr. Missouri Leather 2014 and one of his IML 36 classmates had this memory of him. “I remember Jon Nizzi with his floggers. He had them everywhere. They were his zen. From the dressing room at the Harris Theater to the back seat in the bus, Jon carried them. The sound they make; their weight in the air; they relaxed him as he spun and whipped them around in graceful patterns,” David said. “A brother commented how hot it was under the theater during IML. Jon said to sit right there, and created a mega fan spinning his floggers. I will miss him.”
A lot of people started posting links and offers of support of to people in distress. If you need help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.
We will pass information as we are able to confirm it. Feel free to offer your own memories and comments below.