Varkey Karrupumannil Titus

October 5, 1945September 3, 2018
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Dr. Varkey Karrupumannil Titus peacefully passed away on September 3, 2018. He was born on October 5, 1945, and was 72 years old.

Kunju was born in India and finished his education at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, where he earned his Doctorate in Economics. He spent the majority of his career working as a Chairman in the School of Business at Emporia State University, and a Dean of the School of Business at Lake Superior State University, Northeastern Illinois University, and Middle Georgia State University. His passions ranged from racquetball (they can still hear the echoes of all of his smack talk at Emporia State), tennis, somehow finding a way to grow Indian vegetables in the middle of Kansas, and most importantly, his family.

He is preceded in death by his father, John Varkey, mother Sosamma Varkey, and son George Titus. He is survived by the jewel of his life, Susie Titus, and his sons Mathew and Varkey, Jr. Aside from his wife, his favorite people in the family were his daughters, Victoria and Adrienne Titus and his five grandchildren: Asher, Levia, Malachi, Grace, and Karuna.

Visitation will be held on Friday, September 7, 2018 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Roswell Funeral Home, 950 Mansell Rd. Roswell, GA. 30076. The funeral service for Mr. Titus will take place on Saturday, September 8, 2018 at 10:00am at the Atlanta Christian Assembly, 774 Jordan Ln. Decatur, GA. 30033. With a graveside service to follow at Green Lawn Cemetery & Mausoleum.

In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the George K. Titus Memorial Scholarship at Emporia State University. Checks can be mailed to the following address:

Emporia State University Foundation 1500 Highland St. Emporia, KS 66801-5018


  • Visitation Friday, September 7, 2018
  • Funeral Service Saturday, September 8, 2018

Varkey Karrupumannil Titus

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Santos Rivera

October 22, 2018

I just learned of Dr. Titus’ death. It is sad to know of his passing for he was the ‘salt of the earth,’ a man of honor, a very kind man, a man of much respect. Dr. Titus and I addressed major issues collectively when he was dean and I was a senior executive director at Northeastern. This made us friends and comrades and that; lives in my heart.
Un abrazo fuerte Varkey and adiós. Santos

Ginger & Eddie Tabares

September 13, 2018

Eddie and I were truly saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Titus. He was so supportive of me the 7 years he was my boss and friend at Emporia State University. He was kind but yet able to lead with a stern hand when needed. Those are traits of a true leader and I admired him greatly. Family was important to Dr. Titus as shown by the beautiful photos you chose to share on this website. It was his #1 priority. That is something we shared and he was always willing to give me time off for my family responsibilities.

We also shared a common faith in God to help deal with all that life can throw at us. I watched as you all dealt with the death of your son and brother. You all met that with courage and your faith sustained you. I'm sure that reunion was special between Dr. Titus and George. As I watched your entire family deal with this, it gave me an example to follow when I had to bury my grandson 6 years ago.

Our prayers to you all - Susie, Mathew, Anand and your extended family at this very difficult time.

Sundaram Dorai

September 11, 2018

I have known Dr. Varket Titus as Dean of the College of Business at Northeastern Illinois University. From the time I met time him in 2003, I realized that he was a caring, honest, compassionate and dedicated gentleman. I hold him in high regard for his ethical leadership that was intertwined with friendliness and high degree of importance for family. He spoke passionately not only about his family members, but also showed respect for everyone at the work place. His face lit up whenever he spoke about grandkids. He was a mentor and role model for me. I will never forget the advices and guidance provided by him. He created many pleasant memories for many of us at Northeastern Illinois University. Varkey might have departed, but those memories will remain with me for long time. . He never hesitated to share his personal life stories to highlight the importance of family in life. I can understand the magnitude of loss and sadness his departure has caused to his family. It is indeed a great loss. May GOD give all the strength to his wife and sons to bear the loss of beloved husband and father. MAY his kind hearted SOUL live in ETERNAL PEACE!!!

Kevin Cantwell

September 9, 2018

From the Office of Graduate Studies, Middle Georgia State University, we send our good wishes to Varkey's family. We remember his laugh, his wide smile, and his wicked comments about the world. He was first of all a good man who spoke warmly about his family. At the end of his career, he helped our small school make a transition to a new university. He was our friend and mentor. On the day we became a university, a few of us were standing around with the former president. Varkey said to him that he had made one terrible mistake, which was to hire one of the other deans (his good friend, of course). We had a wonderful laugh together that afternoon, sharing his wit and his real affection for all of us present. We will miss him.

Narendar Rao

September 6, 2018

I am shocked by sudden demise of Dr Varkey Titus. I had the privilege of knowing him as the Dean of the College of Business and Management at Northeastern Illinois University. He was a fine gentleman with a warm and friendly disposition. He was also a very caring person who touched the lives of many people including me. When he came to know that my wife was diagnosed with a serious ailment, he immediately contacted me and comforted me. I will never forget his kindness and compassion. Although he was a Christian, he arranged for me to visit a famous Hindu Temple in his home state Kerala in India. This shows his secular nature and his willingness to help.

His contributions to Northeastern Illinois University will never be forgotten.

May his kind and compassionate soul rest in eternal peace.

Jim and Myrna Stephens

September 6, 2018

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I have always had the utmost respect for Varkey. He would always listen to me and consider my thoughts. He may not have agreed, but he listened. He offered me the teaching opportunity at Emporia State that lasted 15 years. Later, he offered me two other positions which I couldn't accept, but I was flattered that he considered me for the positions. Varkey allowed the marketing faculty to create new courses and develop accredited (AACSB) courses that challenged the students. He was supportive of our professional development in research and in attending conferences. I know he fought for his faculty and his programs. Varkey was a "hall walker." Every morning he would stop to talk and see how I was doing. Varkey positively touched many lives, and I was privileged to be one of those he touched.

Raffaele & Myrna Cornett-DeVito

September 5, 2018

Dear Susie and Family,

Myrna and I were saddened by the news of Varkey’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Over the years at ESU, I had the benefit and good fortune to have Varkey not only as a stand-up friend, but also as someone who truly listened and cared about what went on in our professional and personal lives.

Those years were, on occasion, both difficult and challenging, but they were also years that held so many fond memories of our times together.
Susie, you and your children should know that Varkey will continue to live on in our thoughts.

Fondly, Raffaele and Myrna

Robin Parkerson

September 5, 2018

Susie and family,

I am so very sorry to hear of Dr. Titus' passing. He was one the most kindest, intelligent men I have every known. He was my supervisor at Middle Georgia State for several years. He was always so kind and thoughtful to me and to my family. He was someone that I could always go to and he valued my opinion and input into the School of Business at Middle Georgia State. When he retired, I will never forget what he said to me, "It was a pleasure to be able to work with Christian men and women."

I will have you and your family in my thoughts and prayers as you travel this difficult journey of saying goodbye to this man who meant so much to so many.

Roger Reinsch

September 4, 2018

Dear Susi,

I am very sorry for your loss. I have known you and Varkey since about 1982. I always considered both of you as some of my best friends. Varkey was one of the kindest people I have ever known. He had insight into people and gave me very good advice on several occasions. In fact, I think that he is largely responsible for the life I have today. He was a person I really respected. I wish I would have seen him more recently. I hope that life will be ok for you and your entire family. The two of you raised some wonderful children, who will carry on Varkey's legacy and yours too.



Mostafa Maksy

September 3, 2018

Dear Susi,
I am so sorry and very sad to hear that Varkey passed away today. Please accept my sincere condolences. I pray that God enters him in his eternal paradise and give you and the family the strength and patience to go through this difficult time.

While Varkey was my Dean at the College of Business and Management, Northeastern Illinois University, he made me feel that he was my personal friend not my Dean. When my younger brother died in 2005 and Varkey saw that I was devastated, he came to my office to soothe me and to help go through that difficult period. He told me the story about how his own brother was killed and how he was able take the personal pain and be patient. This helped me a lot and made me go through that difficult period with much more ease.

Another memory I want to share is this: In his tireless effort to get AACSB Accreditation for the College of Business, Varkey realized that the faculty research productivity must increase. He came to my office again and told me: "Mostafa, I know you are already a full professor with tenure and you do not need to conduct any research for promotion or tenure. And you know that because the University is unionized I cannot recommend a salary increase for you as everyone gets the same percent increase regardless of research productivity. So, I am asking you to do me a personal favor and not only conduct research and publish by yourself but I want you to help other accounting faculty publish also. I was so impressed by his personal approach and told him "you have my word. I will do just that." I started a research project and got three other accounting faculty involved and all the four of us published at least three co-authored papers. In fact, thanks to Varkey, I am still continuing with the research project until now even though I left Northeastern eight years ago.


Mostafa Maksy