Michael (Mike) Jeffrey Titus, 70, of Topeka, Kansas, passed away Tuesday, June 18, 2019.
He was born on September 23, 1948, in Yankton, South Dakota, the son of Jack and Muriel (Anderson) Titus.
He received a bachelor’s degree from Washburn University and a master’s degree from the University of Kansas. He proudly served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. He also served in the 190th Air Refueling Wing of the Kansas Air National Guard in Topeka, retiring in 2005.
Mike taught at Landon Middle School and Topeka High School, retiring in 2009. He said that it was his destiny to be an educator, and through this pursuit, he was able to make a connection with many students during his time teaching. He never regretted choosing this path.
Mike married Deboraha Kokenge on October 15, 1977, in Manhattan, Kansas. They would later divorce and remained lifelong friends.
Survivors include a daughter, Gillian Titus, Westwood, Kansas; nephew, Matthew Winternheimer, Lincoln, Nebraska; father's widow, Jackie Titus, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and many other family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Patricia Winternheimer.
Mike’s first love was music, and he played drums for Sioux Falls’ own Dale Gregory and the Shouters, a future South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. In addition, he attended as many concerts as he could, taking in as much new music as possible. A few favorites included The Byrds in 1965; The Beach Boys in 1965; Elton John in 1972; Frank Zappa in 1984; Paul McCartney (second row!!) in 2010; Steely Dan in 2013 and 2016; and Judy Collins in 2016.
Mike was endlessly curious and was always trying new hobbies. He loved photography, painting and calligraphy. A trivia buff, he participated in local tournaments with friends, putting those years of teaching to good use after his retirement. He traveled extensively and read as much history as possible. He always looked forward to his daily walks around the neighborhood, which allowed him to visit with his neighbors as well as their pooches. A car aficionado, he was a regular at local auto shows. Mike was also a dedicated volunteer at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.
Mike was an animal lover and especially loved his kitty companions, Rocket and Sunny.
His whip-smart sense of humor and love of laughter will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to Helping Hands Humane Society and Veterans Community Project.
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