ROBERT TITRAN, age 85. Beloved partner and companion of Christine; devoted father of Robert (Laurie), Joe (Gina), Carrie Baker (Dan), and Patrice (deceased); cherished grandfather of Sage Horbal (Hannah), Alexandria Horbal, Anthony Baker, Lucy Baker, Emma Baker, and Jack Baker; also preceded in death by his sister and six brothers.
Robert H Titran was born on August 18, 1936 in the city of Detroit, Michigan. He was the second youngest son to Albert J. and Leah Marie Titran, one of seven boys and one daughter in the Titran family. He loved being a Titran, loved being a “Frenchman,” and maintained very close relationships with his siblings, their spouses, as well as their children and grandchildren throughout his entire life.
Robert also loved his 36 years as a metallurgical engineer (MS, Metallurgical engineering, Wayne State University, Michigan) at the NASA Lewis (now Glenn) Research Center in Cleveland Ohio. Throughout his esteemed career, he traveled all over the United States and the world, presenting at lectures, learning, receiving awards and contributing to scientific literature. His role as the NASA materials division focal point for refractory metals and composites technology for space nuclear power systems fueled his never-ending quest for knowledge. His work, including the Mini Britton Heat Source Assembly Program, NASA’s first exploration on a Mission to Mars, and his later work on nuclear power and goodwill building with then-Soviet scientists to better develop US thermonuclear reactors was impressive. This resulted in Robert receiving the Charles Hachett Award from the British Institute of Metals, as well as landing a coveted “cover article” in the August 1990 Journal of the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (JOM) entitled: The Opportunities and Challenges of Applying Refractory Metals.
After 36 years he retired, and quickly joined The Institute for Learning in Retirement at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio. He found such joy spending time with his ILR buddies in the ongoing pursuit of learning and friendship. Beyond his work, Robert loved his family, loved making or eating a great meal, and/or throwing or attending a great party. As an astrological Leo, and an engineer, he could be tough to know, stubborn and blunt. He has left behind his first wife of 25 years, Lillian, children Robert (Laurie), Patrice Annette (deceased) and Joe (Gina); his second wife and partner of 35 years Christine and his step- daughter Carrie (Dan); his 6 grandchildren Sage, Alex, Anthony, Lucy, Emma and John Robert; and his four Godchildren Larry Titran, Arthur Titran, Jr., Kendra Titran and Adam Maruszan. Robert carried immense pride about the wonderful success and accomplishments of his family, and ensured their success with any support he could give.
Our “Sweet Ol’ Bob” (SOB) had a sharp, dry wit, and a loud, boisterous laugh. He valued persistence and finding answers without excuses. He hung proudly a wall-sized periodic table in his basement, loved music and musicals, the theatre and public radio/television. He loved a good single malt scotch or a potato-made vodka, with a twist of citrus. His love of food, drink, apple pressing, wine making, gardening and cooking came from his love of chemistry-the ability that science gives us to take pure singular, unrelated ingredients, and then with applied heat, salt or yeast, ultimately catalyze something delicious to create joyful smiles and togetherness. He loved his travels, especially to Russia, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Scotland, Stratford, Ontario, and Guatemala, that showed him that good times, good friends and good family were universal.
In his later life, and even when health issues started to limit his mobility, Robert and Christine led an active schedule, traveling to Savanah, GA; Charleston, SC; Buffalo, NY; back to his home in Michigan. They spent many a night out on the town as a couple or with their close friends or family in Downtown Cleveland. Even as a Lions/Tigers fan, he felt so at home in Cleveland and could be found snacking on peanuts once a year at an Indians game or yelling with the rest of the city (and Joe and Carrie) at the Browns, win or lose. Lenny Barker’s perfect game was the first baseball game he took his sons to.
Robert let his softer side shine through with his grandchildren especially, who have so many memories of gardening, cooking, baking, playing games, wrestling and learning with their beloved “Pepere.” He made sure that his grandchildren felt secure and loved in this ever-changing world, and imparted on them a sense of adventure. From teaching them about bird watching, whittling wood, reviewing math facts or learning to read anime comic books backward, to showing them how slurp fresh oysters, slice a ripe pear, can home-grown tomatoes, butter a Thanksgiving bird, and make homemade pie crust (cannot forget the lard), he gave his grandchildren incredible moments.
Over 85 years, Robert was unabashedly himself. And through his decades on this earth, in his words and deeds, he modeled what it is to be a complicated, beautiful human: to love and to fight, to teach and to learn, to forgive and hope for forgiveness, to succeed and to fail, to cry and to laugh, to lose and to find.
He passed peacefully on January 11th, 2022 at 8:06 pm and was grateful to his extensive medical team and first responders who showed him wonderful care throughout his journey.
“Live Life Well.”
LIVESTREAM beginning at 1:00 p.m. https://boxcast.tv/view/titran-service-813331
The family will receive friends Saturday January 15, 2022 from 12 NOON – 2 PM at the A. RIPEPI & SONS FUNERAL HOME, 18149 BAGLEY ROAD, MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS (WEST OF I-71). Closing prayers will be at 2:00 PM., Saturday January 15, 2022 at the funeral home. Interment private.
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