Our hearts are heavy at the peaceful passing of our father “Gene” (Papa) Orville Eugene Titus on Sept. 29, 2023, at the age of 92. He was a loyal, caring father. He had many friends and was a well-loved member of the community in Newton where he was born and still lived.
He leaves behind his wife of 16 years, Trudy (Anderson) Titus.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Ann (Dorey)Titus of 55 years; his grandson, Uriah Job Titus; his great-granddaughter, Kilar Rain Gillispie; his father, Orville F. Titus; and mother, Opal McFarlane.
He also leaves behind his three sons, Bill Titus of Newton, John (Margie) Titus of Newton and Robb (Mary Beth) Titus of Lee’s Summit, Mo., nine grandchildren, Thain Titus, Cree (Josh) Gillispie, Maisha (Lance) Dible, Season (James) Lentz, Starla (Jared Schmitz) Titus, Jasmine (Ian Schmidt) Titus, Lena (Carl) Edwards, Taylor Titus and Spencer Titus; 16 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; brother, Michael Fry; sister, Michelle Cloud; and several nephews and nieces.
Gene owned and worked at Gene’s Shoes on Main Street in Newton for over 40 years, helping people by letting them do layaways and payment plans. He sold many steel-toed boots to the railroad workers, and he gave shoe boxes for the Christmas goodies that went to the Hutchinson Correctional Facility.
He welcomed neighborhood kids and foster children into their home on Pine Street for many years.
He designed and built his own home in the country, which was a beautiful place where he loved having his family and friends come and gather.
He loved to fish, boat and ski. He was a very active sports enthusiast and coached his sons’ many baseball and basketball teams. He also played, managed and sponsored Gene’s Shoes slow-pitch softball teams for many years. He participated in bowling, basketball and softball well into his 50s and 60s. His love of sports started in school, where his Newton High basketball team won the state championship in 1949.
The family will have a gathering/celebration of life for anyone who would like to pay their respects at The Chapel at Paramount Community Living Center (corner of South Poplar and Southwest 14th) from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12.