SUDBURY, MA -- Norma Jean Titus, a long time resident of Sudbury, MA, passed away quietly at her home on Friday, Jan 20, 2012 following a long illness. She was 81.
Norma Jean was born July 19, 1930 on a farm in Webb, the daughter of Henry Mulder and Calista Lane Mulder. Her father died in 1946, leaving her mother a widow with eight children to support. Calista got a horse and wagon and moved the family to Emmetsburg. The Mulder family all worked to survive: picking corn, doing laundry, taking on a paper route at a young age, gathering coal along the railroad lines, and selling night crawlers.
She always fondly remembered her siblings, all of whom she survived: Arthur, Merle, William, Margaret, Dorothy, Albert Lowell, and Raymond. She was an excellent student and enjoyed being a majorette. Norma Jean graduated from Emmetsburg High School in 1947 and left home on her 17th birthday to work for the Iowa State Health Department in the Pulmonary Division.
In 1949 Norma Jean moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked for the U.S. Navy. There she met her future husband, Joseph Sylvanus Titus (Joe), who went on to study physics at Georgetown University. He later became a nationally recognized expert in cryogenic infrared optical sensors. Norma Jean helped Joe to establish two successful companies. Joe passed away in 2004.
Norma Jean and her family lived in Cupertino, CA and Minnetonka, MN before settling in Sudbury, MA for the last 42 years. Norma Jean enjoyed traveling, gardening, bird watching, photography, the Wayside Inn and the Hosmer house, but her family always came first.
Norma Jean Titus is survived by five children: Robert W. and his wife Maurine of Atlanta, MA, Elizabeth A. and her husband Bill of Plymouth, MA, Amy J. and her husband Robert of Brisbane, CA, James M. and his wife Carol and Daniel J. and his wife Kristin, of Sudbury, MA. She also leaves behind three beloved grandchildren: Lydia and Dylan Gallagher and Josie Rawlings, as well as many nieces and nephews.
At Norma Jean's request, there will be no funeral services. In lieu of flowers, she asked that you make a donation to your local food pantry. To sign the online guest book, go to www.obits.dignitymemorial.com