Susan Booth Titus
Susan Booth Titus passed away peacefully with Matthew Peterson at her side at Hospicare in Ithaca on Sunday, June 26, 2016 at the age of 76. She died after an incredibly brave seventeen year struggle against the breast cancer which finally took her. Her life partner for the last twenty years of her life was Matthew Peterson who continues to live at their home in the Town of Ithaca and wonder at his incredible good fortune to have known and loved her.
While Susan never had children of her own she helped raise Leta and Ella Skalwold and loved them both dearly. Susan was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 23, 1940. Her parents were Robert Booth and Eleanor Boyle Booth. Susan has two sisters, Linda Reichard and Barbara Schnabel who both still live in Pennsylvania. As a child in Pennsylvania Susan was a tomboy who loved running and playing among the trees. She always loved nature and began to draw and paint what she saw at a very early age. She was also inspired by the art of her mother who she loved throughout her entire life. Susan attended Saturday morning art classes at Carnegie Tech. After high school she took two years of art classes from 1958 through 1960 at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and graduated with a major in fashion illustration. She was then a fashion illustrator doing full page ads in the Pittsburgh Press for six years. Moving to New York she graduated from the State University of New York at Cortland majoring in etching. Susan continued her studies in etching at Cornell University and in 1982 and again in 1984 was invited to attend the prestigious International Summer Academy for Fine Arts in Salzburg, Austria. Susan Titus was the winner of numerous competitive exhibitions and her artwork has been represented in galleries in the United States, Canada, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Susan sold her etchings and water colors in Ithaca, New York for thirty four years eventually expanding and opening the Titus Gallery on the Ithaca Commons where she sold antiques and jewelry as well as her art and the art of many local artists. It was an almost daily occurrence for customers to comment that the Titus Gallery was the most wonderful store in Ithaca. Susan was a much loved and widely collected artist. Susan had a profound love of nature and trees in particular for her entire life. She was also enormously concerned for wildlife and everything alive in the world. Many people have observed that Susan's lifelong love of nature is beautifully reflected in her art. Susan was deeply involved in the fight against hydrofracking in New York State and she gathered over 2,500 signatures in a valiant attempt to save the trees on the Commons before the recent transformation of the Ithaca Commons destroyed almost all of them. Susan Titus was also involved in so many progressive political causes that it would be impossible to list them.
Susan had too many friends to even begin to mention and has been described again and again as one of the kindest, most compassionate and good people any of them have known.
Susan was quietly buried at the Greensprings Natural Cemetery in Newfield, N.Y. on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 among the trees and forests she so loved, as was her wish. There will be a private memorial service held for family and close friends this August. Please make any memorial contributions to one of the many wonderful organizations fighting breast cancer.
Beloved artist, sweetheart and best friend. One chapter ends and another begins. A little girl is playing among the trees once again for the stories are unending in the infinite forest.