WARSAW — The staff of Titus Funeral Home announced on Tuesday morning, Jan. 2, that trusted funeral director and long-time employee, Cory Benz, has acquired the funeral home.
In the deal reached with former owner, Kathy Titus, Benz assumed control of operations for the 61-year-old firm at the December closing. The funeral home will continue to operate under the existing name.
“This purchase has actually been several years in the making,” said Benz. “The sale was originally slated to take place in early October and was planned as retirement for Jerry and Kathy Titus. That was all put on hold when Jerry became ill and he passed away rather unexpectedly. Following Jerry’s passing, both Kathy and I thought it was important to follow through with our original plans. She asked me to manage the funeral home in the meantime.”
“That’s not to say you won’t still see Kathy around sometimes,” continued Benz. “She has asked if she could stay on board in an ‘as-needed’ role, and I was happy to accept.”
In his time as a funeral director at Titus, Benz has served countless families in their time of need, including the family of Paul “PD” Dwyer.
“He’s so kind and courteous,” said PD’s daughter, Lori Horney. “He treats everyone like they’re members of his family.”
Unlike many funeral home owners, Benz didn’t grow up in the funeral business. He was raised between Columbia City and Fort Wayne on the family farm with his two sisters, Megan and Tashina. He eventually made his home on Chapman Lake. He spent a number of years as a firefighter and a paramedic where he worked locally for the former Multi-Township EMS.
“Although they seem different, the two callings have one central element in common – in both, you’re placed in a family’s life in a time of true emergency and tasked with guiding them through that critical time. The major difference is, as a paramedic, I only had a few minutes to get to know the family and to get my job done; as a funeral director, I have days, even weeks, where I get to feel like I truly am a member of the family as we help them through those difficult times,” said Benz.
The Titus Funeral Home staff is working diligently to ensure that the necessary steps are in place for a smooth transition between owners. There will be very few changes to the way the business operates and no immediate changes to the services provided or the amenities offered at Titus Funeral Home.
Titus Funeral Home is located at 2000 E. Sheridan St., Warsaw, and was founded, on Aug. 1, 1956. Benz said he plans to carry on many of the Titus traditions while improving upon existing services and updating the building’s interior.
“The families we serve will not be impacted, and all prearranged funeral plans will remain the same,” said Benz. “We welcome the opportunity to answer questions in person and you’re encouraged to come say hello anytime.”