The beautiful historic home at 122 N.High Street, Warsaw, Indiana was owned by Judge Frazier until1937 when Paul Bilby purchased and remodeled it as a funeral home. Bilby Funeral Home became the third funeral home in Warsaw. It was in this block of High Street that horse thieves were hung and the Underground Railroad came up providing freedom for the slaves of the South.
Ned Titus graduated from Indiana College of Mortuary Science in 1952. Ned and his family returned to Warsaw in 1955 from Mishawaka where he had worked for his Aunt Mabel and Uncle Joe Thallemer at Thallemer Funeral Home. Ned went to work at Landis Funeral Home (later known as Chamness Funeral Home),and then on August 1, 1956 Ned and Maryon purchased Bilby Funeral Home.
The first year as Bilby and Titus Funeral Home brought 19 calls; the second year added to that number. Funeral directors were the EMS of the day. Ned and his 1946 Packard doubled as hearse and ambulance. He provided emergency service to many in the community at a charge of three to five dollars per run. The years that followed saw an increased number of calls primarily due to their simple philosophy; their service had to be personal, honest and fair. The High Street facility was remodeled three times. Ned and Maryon also raised their two sons,Jerry and David, while living in the upstairs of that funeral home. Although he had worked in the funeral home during his growing up years, it was in 1974 after serving in the US Army,including a tour of duty in VietNam, and then graduation from Indiana College of Mortuary Science, that their older son, Jerry, joined his parents’ business.
As the business grew it became apparent that a new facility was needed, and in November 1976, the present location at 2000 East Sheridan Street was completed. The Tituses continued to gain business and added an additional chapel in 1981. Fora variety of reasons…the increased volume of funerals, the introduction and rapid growth of the prearranging of funerals and increased population of Warsaw…a major remodel and structural change took place. With the conclusion of that project in 1991, the present day facility had three chapels, a larger preparation room and a second floor where the offices were located; the entire facility totals approximately 12,500 sq. ft. All of this prosperous history is because the Titus family continued their original philosophy of service that had to be personal, honest and fair.
Due to Ned’s arising health problems, Ned and Maryon made the decision to retire and sold the funeral home to the Loewen Group. This conglomerate asked Jerry to stay and manage the funeral home the same as it had been in the past. This working arrangement failed when their expectations compromised Jerry’s integrity. With great disappointment, Jerry left the family firm in August of 1993with a 10-year non-compete agreement.
The Alderwoods Group formed after the Loewen Group emerged from bankruptcy on January 2002. Then in November 2006, Alderwoods was acquired by Service Corporation International(SCI). Jerry had inquired several times over the years to purchase the family firm back, but it wasn’t until April 2006when the SCI acquisition was announced that his inquiries met with any hope. Jerry and Kathy Titus received a formal purchase proposal on February 13, 2007 and on May 6, 2007 the purchase was finalized with immediate possession.
The funeral home has undergone much renovation including the making of two large lounges providing each family a private area to take a break, eat a bite, relax by the fireplace,watch a little tv and each includes a special corner for children to be entertained. Both restrooms have been remodeled. All walls have been painted to brighten up every room. Our dining room, with an attached kitchen, comfortably seats ninety. A hostess provides service for those using this room. Most importantly, Jerry and Kathy, both licensed funeral directors, continue to commit to the “Titus Family Philosophy” with the desire to conduct business honestly with fairness to all and to care for each family who walks in the doors as if they were their own because a family’s touch makes all the difference.