March, 2015

Roane County author Michael Frederick Titus has died at 58.

Titus was a well-respected author of poetry and works of both fiction and non-fiction, writing numerous books, including First Poems, The Tenth Life, The Girl Who Read to Birds and Further My Heart from Home, an autobiographical account of his relationship with his beloved niece, Molly, with whom he shared a relationship of deep mutual adoration throughout her life.

His autobiography "Further My Heart From Home" chronicles a 5-year period in his life.

"After many years away from my rural hometown of Spencer, I returned. I was broken, battered, beaten, divorced, childless. I'd suffered all my life from clinical depression, taking numerous medications. I was a failure. Home. I did not understand the concept. I was lost. Life had no meaning for me. The future was some other person's dream. I was only 40 years old. I thought I'd come home to die," he wrote.

"Through a miraculous, yet bizarre, set of circumstances - a strange twist of fate - a child came late into my life. My niece. Oddly enough, I became her primary caregiver, her Nanny. This is my tale of redemption. This is the story of how caring for a child, with me mostly clueless, changed my life forever, and brought me back to life again."

Mike was an assistant chaplain at the Huntington City Mission, ministering to those in need of his unique talents and gifts and was a guest reader on the National Public Radio program, "The Poet and the Poem." He was a guest reader for the series "Poetry in Motion" at the West Virginia Cultural Center.

He won first place in poetry and second place in fiction for the William J. Maier Awards in Writing. Mike was also one of only eight West Virginia residents, out of 150 applicants to win a state art grant in the first year of a program sponsored by the State of West Virginia.

His friends were not limited to Roane County or West Virginia or even the United States. He had friends throughout the world and was loved and admired by countless individuals for his kind heart, giving nature and his unique and wonderful spirit.

His family said that spirit will be remembered and treasured forever by those whose lives he touched and enriched.

Read complete obituary Michael Frederick Titus

See SPENCER WRITER'S NEW BOOK "THE GIRL WHO READ TO BIRDS" - Michael Titus' Illustrated Fantasy Novel