Rev. Virginia “Ginny” L. Titus, died at home at 11:15 am on March 24, 2021 after a 21-month courageous battle with cancer. Ginny passed while surrounded by her daughters, Shannon and Dana and her eldest grandchild, Sara, who helped to care for her through these months.
Originally hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Virginia Titus spent twenty years living in Alpena, Michigan, where she met her husband, Keith. In 1994, she was “called” to Western Theological Seminary and in May of 1997, graduated from the Master of Divinity program. She received the WTS award for worship content along with the newly created “President’s Community Life Award”. She was ordained in the fall of 1997 along with her husband. Ginny was involved with dance for 45 years, teaching dance and theatre and danced professionally for twenty years. She was producer/choreographer for Thunder Bay Theatre, Northern Michigan’s only year ‘round professional theatre and was director of their Creative Arts Centre. For four years, Ginny did a 22-school tour of poetry and dance throughout Northern Michigan. She was involved with Michigan Faith and Resistance, and consequently arrested for peacefully protesting nuclear weaponry. She is also the author of a cookbook, “Gourmet from Garbage”, and another featuring meals she prepared as cook for RE-MEMBER. While at Western, she interned with ARC (the Advocacy Resource Center for Disabled Persons) and at the First Congregational Church, Saugatuck.
Her duties at Christ Community Church included pastoral care and counseling, working with home-bound and nursing home residents, designed liturgy and worship experiences, and worked with peace and justice issues. In her ministry at South Congregational, she designed and facilitated spiritual retreats, organized community-building events, and designed and implemented the educational components for both the youth and adult programs. At Park Church, she continued her work in the areas of pastoral care and Christian development, redesigning the educational wing of the church and instituting the Children in Worship program there. She also worked in women’s education and helped design a Lenten educational series. She served as interim pastor for a year at Douglas, Michigan Congregational Church before joining her husband in serving the Lakota people on Pine Ridge Reservation, through the organization they founded called RE-MEMBER. The quilt she is wrapped in was a gift from the Black Elk family, who adopted her into their family. She was given the name “Tui-kiksuya”, which means “She who remembers”.
Returning to Alpena in 2006, she began a pastorate in 2008 at Atlanta Congregation UCC, from which she retired in June 2018.
Together, she and Keith parented eight children. She is survived by her husband, Keith; 5 children, Shannon Cook, Dana (Robert) Barnhardt, Justin Titus, Christian Titus, Kirstine (Michael) Furtaw; 14 grandchildren; six great grandchildren; and one brother, Natale Tacchino, III.
She was preceded in death by three children, Toni Renee Titus, Sam Titus, Neal Titus and sister, Donna Furchi.
Visitation will take place at the Bannan Funeral Home on Saturday, March 27, 2021 from 12 – 4 p.m. A Celebration of Rev. Ginny’s life will take place on Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 1 p.m. at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Alpena.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to RE-MEMBER PO Box 5054, Pine Ridge, SD 57770.