Life Story / Obituary
A longtime resident of the community he loved, Jerry Titus was such a blessing to those around him. He was a man of great honor and character who would do whatever he could for others in ways both great and small. Guided by his unwavering faith, Jerry looked to help others come to embrace the same beliefs he held near. Although he accomplished so much of which to be proud, he was a humble man who lived a life of service to others. Although he will be forever missed, Jerry leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his family and friends will hold near and dear to their hearts.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as WWII raged on. With the victory of America and our allies there was dancing in the streets in September of 1945. The days that followed were transitional days when America was making the shift to being a nation at peace once again. Amidst this time of great change was a time of anticipation in the lives of Ned and Maryon Titus as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as the holiday season was in full swing in 1947. They were thrilled to receive a special Christmas blessing when the baby boy they named Jerry L. was born on Christmas Eve. He was the older of two Titus boys as he was raised in the family home alongside his brother. Jerry was very petite as a child, and as a result he became quite ill at one point.
In many ways Jerry was a young boy of his generation. He looked forward to visiting his grandparents’ farm near Atwood, Indiana, on Sundays as they were usually there for family dinners. Jerry was active in the Boy Scouts, attending Boy Scout Camp at Pioneer Trails near North Webster during the summer. Eventually, he earned the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout. Jerry attended schools locally and played the trumpet in the band. He was also active in theatre in both high school and college, often taking care of the set lighting.
After graduating from high school, Jerry was eager for all that life had in store. With his strong work ethic, he worked in construction during the summers. Soon, he began attending college. Jerry attended Indiana University, Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). Plans changed for Jerry when he was drafted into the United States Army on April 20, 1970. He was deployed in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) of Vietnam and served as a radar setup operator. On November 22, 1971, Jerry was honorably discharged. For the rest of his life he was a proud American as well as a proud resident of Warsaw. With his military duties fulfilled, he returned to the area and attended Indiana College of Mortuary Science, Indianapolis, following in the footsteps of his father and his great-uncles who were all funeral directors. Jerry graduated with an Associate of Science degree in 1974.
New and exciting changes were in store for Jerry when he met the woman of his dreams. Her name was Kathleen M. Worman, and it didn’t take the couple long to fall deeply in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Jerry and Kathleen were married on October 10, 1993, in Warsaw. From 1993 through 1999, they lived in Lagrange, Kentucky, and owned Lemstone Books in Louisville. In 2000, they moved to Indianapolis where Jerry worked as a funeral director for Feeney-Hornack 2000 until 2003. His career then took them to Fort Wayne where he was a manager of DO McComb and Sons Covington Knolls Funeral Home 2003 through 2007. Buy this time, Jerry had inquired about purchasing the family firm back several times, but it took until April of 2006 before his inquiries were met with any hope. On February 13, 2007, Jerry and Kathy received a formal purchase proposal. On May 6th that same year, the purchase was finalized with immediate possession.
Throughout his life, Jerry was very involved in his community and also recognized for his amazing talents. He was a longtime member of Warsaw Breakfast Optimist Club, even serving as club president during which time he received the following accolades: 1982 Indiana Distinguished Optimist, 1978 Outstanding Leadership as Club President, and 1979 Optimist of the Year. Jerry was also a member of American Legion Post 49 in Warsaw and VFW Post 1126. He served on the Indiana Funeral Directors Association’s Education Taskforce, was a member of First Baptist Church of Warsaw from 1947 through 1993, and he was also a very active member of Trinity UMC from 1993 until the time of his death. Within his church, Jerry was a member of the Church’s Staff-Parish Relations Committee and a Certified Methodist Lay Speaker who frequently spoke at other churches and filled in for ministers who were away. He was also active in his Sunday school class, “Serendipity.”
A man of many interests, Jerry was always busy. He was a huge NASCAR fan and frequently attended races in person. Jerry was also a huge Indy 500 fan and attended 52 Indy 500 races, only missing one in that stretch when he was deployed in the Army. He attended every Brickyard 400 race since its inception, and also went to races in Daytona, Bristol, and Michigan. A sports fan through and through, Jerry loved Cubs baseball and was very excited to see them take the World Series in 2016. He attended several Cubs games including a division playoff game and was once thrilled to sit next to Cubs owner, Todd Ricketts. Jerry loved Notre Dame football, enjoyed playing golf, and was an avid woodworker. He often made gifs and holiday decorations for family and friends. Jerry enjoyed gardening, especially when it came to caring for his many variety of irises, many of which were from “The Iris Farm” in Traverse City, Michigan. He even had some rare varieties of irises. Jerry’s love for irises was something he learned from his grandmother and mother, and it was very important part of their family life. As his family and friends can attest, Jerry loved cooking and baking. He made several dishes featuring shrimp because he was a huge shrimp fan. Jerry even made his own sausages, candies, pickles, and BBQ sauce. He looked forward to decorating for this holidays every year, despite having to take everything back down. Since Jerry didn’t like taking everything down, he was known to leave the decorations up long after the season had passed. He always had a live Christmas tree every year. Although he loved being at home, Jerry also liked traveling.
With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around him, Jerry Titus was and extraordinary man to know and love. He was a man of many talents and interests, all of which he used to enrich the lives of so many throughout his life. With unending devotion to his community, Jerry made a significant impact in the world around him in countless ways. Deeply loved, he will never be forgotten.
Jerry L. Titus, a lifetime resident of Warsaw, Indiana, passed away on Wednesday, October 4th at 2:30 p.m. in Fort Wayne's Lutheran Hospital after a brief illness. Jerry was 69 years old and owned, with his wife, Kathy, Titus Funeral Home. Please check back for complete obituary information. VISITATION Thursday, October 12, 2017, 3-7 p.m. Titus Funeral Home 2000 East Sheridan St Warsaw, IN. FUNERAL SERVICE Friday, October 13, 2017, 11 a.m. at Titus Funeral Home, Warsaw, IN.