Ardana Janine Titus, age 66, beloved wife, dear sister and loving mother, passed away on Friday, May 25, due to sudden illness at Munson Medical Center. She was born on March 19, 1952 in Toledo, Ohio, to the late A. John and Avis J. (McMullen) Kirsch, of Grosse Pointe Park.
She is survived by her husband, Wendell E. Titus, of Traverse City: brother, Rodney R. Kirsch, of Westland; sons, Johnathan W. Titus, of Richmond, Virginia, Benjamin E. Titus, of Lansing, and Zachary J. Titus, of Decatur, Georgia.
Ardana traveled extensively as a young girl. Her father was a graduate ceramics engineer and World War II veteran flight instructor in the U.S. Navy. Employed as manager of Coated Products - Europe, for The Carborundum Company, he moved the family via steamship and train to Switzerland in 1960. Ardana's mother also had a master's degree in education and arranged many family trips with emphasis on history and culture throughout Western Europe. Eventually, her father's work brought the family to the Detroit area, where she attended and graduated high school at Grosse Pointe South in 1971.
Ardana began her college education at Michigan Technological University in Houghton. Late in her freshman year an unlucky encounter with a deer while driving a VW Beetle forced her to move back home and she transferred to Wayne State University. Her husband, Wendell, first met her there in the spring of 1973. The two soon became inseparable through common interests and shared adventures aboard the restored 40-year old wooden sailboat, "Argyle." She graduated in December 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in family and consumer resources. Wendell graduated from Wayne State in June 1975.
After graduation the two spent the summer of 1975 aboard the "Argyle" on a circumnavigation of Lake Huron. Ardana's love of the water, nature and boats and her fearless spirit was known to all who were lucky enough to call themselves her friend.
Ardana and Wendell were married on June 26, 1976 at Christ Church in Grosse Pointe. As husband and wife, they set sail for Suttons Bay, where they spent the summer as Wendell began training as an engineering Cadet at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City.
Ardana worked at Cherryland Electric Co-Op for several years. She later formed a small business that published local artist works in a greeting card line. She was a past president of the Women's Resource Center in Traverse City and worked tirelessly and without compensation to develop a viable shelter home system funded by a new thrift shop and secured consistent local charitable support.
Following a life's dream, Ardana trained and obtained an aircraft private pilot's license. She continued her education in accountancy and business law at Northwestern Michigan College. After her children entered school, Ardana began work with H & R Block in Traverse City and as a master tax advisor and enrolled agent - she had more than 21 years with the company at her passing.
Everyone knew Ardana as a kind, loving soul. She worked tirelessly for her children. She took great pride in her three boys graduating from college. As a great believer in education she never stopped learning and was always engaged in a new continuing education or training program. She was a true patriot, proud of her family heritage and was a member of the National Society - Daughters of the American Revolution. Ardana's unique blend of love of life, family and friends, her positive attitude and humor, and her great integrity are things that will not be forgotten by those who knew her.
Friends are welcome to visit with Ardana's family from 2 to 8 p.m. on Friday, July 13, 2018 at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home, 305 Sixth St., Traverse City, MI 49684. A memorial service honoring Ardana will take place at 11 a.m., with visitation one hour prior, on Saturday, July 14, 2018 at the funeral home. Pastor Jane Lippert will officiate.
Memorials may be directed to the General Scholarship Fund, Northwestern Michigan College Foundation at 1701 East Front Street, Traverse City, MI 49686.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories with Ardana's family at her tribute page at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on July 8, 2018