[JPL] 'Queen of Toledo jazz' dies at Fla. care center

Dr. Jazz drjazz at drjazz.com
Sun Oct 12 16:25:00 EDT 2008

Article published Sunday, October 12, 2008
Owner of Rusty's cafe, 'Queen of Toledo jazz' dies at Fla. care center

Margaret "Rusty" Monroe, 89, the centerpiece of Toledo's jazz scene for 
decades and whose club, Rusty's Jazz Cafe, became a landmark, died 
yesterday afternoon at a Punta Gorda, Fla., nursing care center.

She died from complications of a fall more than a week ago at her home 
in Punta Gorda. She'd been dealing with cancer for years, and her health 
worsened this year, said Suzanne Carroll, a longtime friend and host of 
the Jazz Brunch program on WRVF, 101.5-FM.

"She told me at the end [that] she lived a good life, and she did 
everything she wanted to do, and she had no regrets," said Ms. Carroll, 
who last spoke with Ms. Monroe about five days ago.

"The Queen of Toledo Jazz - that's how we all know her," Ms. Carroll 
said. "We love her so much, and she will leave a huge void in the 
cohesiveness of the jazz community."

Ms. Monroe would have been 90 on Nov. 22.

For most of 40 years, she offered Toledo live jazz every night, year-round.

She opened a jazz club in the Westgate area in 1963. She was best known 
for her club on Tedrow Road, which in 1997 was designated by the city 
"Jazz Avenue" in her honor.

She sold Rusty's Jazz Cafe in 2001, but remained active at the venue 
until it changed formats in 2003.

Surviving are her husband, Don Cordts, whom she married in 2006; two 
sons, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Services will be private in Marion, Ohio, Ms. Carroll said. A Toledo 
commemoration will be planned, she said.

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