In Memoriam: Clifton Titus, Jr.
Clifton Titus, Jr., a beloved former Saints faculty member and administrator, died on February 15. Clif, husband of Mary Lou, and father of Olivia ’90, Katherine, and Clarke ’96, joined St. Stephen’s School in 1961, retiring in 1997. At St. Stephen’s, Clif served twice as acting headmaster, and once as headmaster of St. Stephen’s School. He also served as the assistant head of school for St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School from 1991-1992, as well as acting head of school in 1994-1995. Also during his tenure, Clif taught math and science, was a golf, basketball, and JV football coach, and served as an academic dean and the assistant director of admissions.
When Clif received the Faculty Excellence Award from the SSS Alumni Association in 1987, the following was shared:
“The embodiment of an educator in the truest sense of the word is summed up in a name – Mr. Clifton Titus. This gentleman sets himself very high standards as he does his students, who in turn, strive to meet them.”
Clifton Titus, Jr.: Grace, Strength, and Love of Learning
By Roger Barbee
English Teacher from 1976-1995
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…,” wrote Dickens in what could be the most famous beginning sentence of any novel. However, when I think of Clifton Titus, Jr. , what I remember of Dickens’ words is, It was the best of times,… Those six words describe the time, that of Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School for Boys during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s; but what words describe an educator like Clif Titus who led the school by preparing it for another chapter of growth that began in 1944 with its founding?
Does the ever-present pipe describe him? Or his appreciation for golf? What of his skill at Dick Babyak’s poker nights? Does his service for Emmanuel Episcopal Church define him?
What of his love of family-does that describe him? Does his coaching of several sports? Or his willingness to be dunked in a water-tank during a school play day? What of his admiration and knowledge for science-is that what Clif Titus was? Or does his intellect satisfy the need for an accurate description?
For many years as a teacher I taught under Clif the able administrator, and for a brief time I was fortunate enough to be his assistant when he was Headmaster of Saint Stephen’s School. Since our offices were separated by just a few feet during that time, we were always near each other either literally or figuratively. That brief time was a privilege for me because of Clif, a gentle man whose waters ran deep, who was gracious to all, and who believed that he could teach any student his great academic love-mathematics.
Clif was a great supervisor because he did what all good ones do—explain what needs to be done and then step back, out of the way, as the work gets done. Now, I made some boneheaded mistakes, but Clif just continued to encourage me during those tumultuous times, and his gentle, guiding manner made me feel capable of and desiring to do better. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but I was simply another one of his students, just one with an office next to his.
Because Clif identified as a teacher before any other role, he taught a class even with all his duties as Headmaster. One day he walked into our offices after his class and said to me, “I gave my class a test and the boys didn’t do well. So, I told them that I was tossing their tests, and we were starting over. They can do better, so we’ll cover that material again and then they will take a new test.” With that he tossed the bundled tests into the trash can and walked into his office. Clif Titus refused to believe that he couldn’t teach any student any subject he chose. It wasn’t arrogance of Clif’s but faith in his training, wisdom, and ability to explain the most complex aspects of mathematics to even the most reluctant student. He was the teacher who went to where his students were and then brought them forward.
During his thirty-six years serving our school, Clif filled many roles. Every one, from junior varsity football coach to headmaster, was done with a grace and strength and love for learning that defines Clif. We, his colleagues and students, are better for having shared those years with him.
(Listings received prior to March 4, 2022)
Lenore Dorsey-Henry ’41
February 7, 2021
Elspeth Jean Bannerman ’50
January 5, 2022
Frances Bowersock ’61
sister of Carol Bowersock ’61 (deceased)
Deborah “Debby” Day Lind ’69
November 11, 2021
Mark Fox, Jr. ’71
October 30, 2021
The Rev. Winston Baldwin ’76
brother of Alan Baldwin ’79
January 30, 2022
Faculty and Friends
grandmother of Michael Dziuban ’04, Daniel Dziuban ’07, and Matthew Dziuban ’09
April 22, 2021
Glenn Spitler, Jr.
husband of Ann Davis Spitler ’65, father of Glenn Spitler III ’00 and Elizabeth Spitler ’06
September 6, 2021
father of Allison Curry McVay ’87, Cristin Curry De Silva ’88, and Meaghan Curry ’90
September 15, 2021
husband of Anne Havard Litchfield ’55
September 16, 2021
Lora Riggs Wadsworth
wife of Steve Wadsworth ’80
October 9, 2021
husband of Sarah Utke-Ramsing Herron ’73
November 25, 2021
The Rev. William “Pegram” Johnson III
father of The Rev. Matt Johnson ’96
November 25, 2021
father of Steve Ebner (Upper School History Teacher)
November 26, 2021
Robert “Bob” Devine
father of Maddy Devine ’05, Becca Devine ’07, and Rory Devine ’11
November 29, 2021
William “Bill” Vosbeck
father of Lynn Vosbeck Kunkel ’70, Lee Vosbeck Hagan ’66, and Jim Vosbeck ’68 (deceased)
December 15, 2021
Anne Hazel and Til Hazel
parents of Til Hazel, mother of Jack Hazel ’75, James Hazel ’76, and Richard Hazel ’80
December 18, 2021 (Anne Hazel), March 14, 2022 (Til Hazel)
mother of Michael Trapasso ’87
December 21, 2021
Dr. Edward Werner
father of Leslie Werner Krauland ’83, Mary Ellen Werner Rotondo ’84, Tony Werner ’88, and Adrienne Werner Roughgarden ’93
January 6, 2022
mother of Andre Screen ’20
January 12, 2022
father of Niko Papademetriou ’00
January 26, 2022
Stephen “Steve” Rupp
father of Lizzie Rupp ’06
February 4, 2022
father of Kirk Blalock (Campaign Committee Co-Chair), grandfather of Makin Blalock ’23 and Maddie Blalock ’19
February 24, 2022
Isaiah “Ike” Dow
father of Susan Dow Orndoff ’05
March 2, 2022