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Annual Golf outing honors the legacy of Paula Titus

Jimmy Myers
Annual Golf outing honors the legacy of Paula Titus
John Butler on the fairway at the The Paula Titus Golf Outing at Franklin Park, Roxbury, Mass. PHOTO: Charlie Titus

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On June 3, 144 golfers, the maximum allowed, turned out for a golf tournament at the George Devine Golf Course in Franklin Park to honor the memory of Paula A. Titus. 

Renaldo “Skeets” Nehemiah, one of the greatest high hurdlers in the history of track and field, was in attendance.  When asked why he traveled a great distance to attend he said, “To honor the memory of a fine lady. She was truly a great mother.”

Charlie Titus at the dedication and opening of Paula Titus Park in Roxbury. PHOTO: Isabel Leon, Mayor’s Office

Nehemiah, who has two successful children of his own, knows the challenges of parenthood. “She just handled things the way a true mother would. I’ve known her, Charlie, and their family for years. And she has always been a favorite person of mine,” he said.

Nehemiah’s statement echoed the sentiments of every person, from golf participant to volunteer, who turned out to pay honor to the memory of Paula A. Titus. 

If you had been blessed to know Paula, you would understand the love and affection felt for this incredible woman, who has been gone from this world since 2017. She is survived by her husband, Charlie Titus, the former co-chancellor, athletic director and long-time basketball coach at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and her two children, Ciaran and Andre “A.J.” — both successful in the aviation and music industries.

Golfers Rep. Russell E. Holmes, 6th Suffolk; Richard Taylor, Frank Redd and Ronald Mitchell at the Paula Titus Golf Outing. PHOTO: Banner Staff

This is the third year of the tournament, established by the Titus Foundation, Inc., a 501c(3) whose mission statement is “to aid young people and place-based initiatives in underserved communities. The primary focus areas are scholarships and academic support, athletics, recreation, employment and training.”  Their online web page and brochure state: “Our Mission is to nurture today’s youth while lighting the pathways for the leaders of tomorrow.”

Charlie Titus, raised in the city of Boston, where he met Paula (from Taunton, Mass.) back in 1979, and was married to her for 40 years, says that the golf tournament, which provides scholarship money for deserving young people, is his family’s way of creating a lasting memory of her.

“She was a woman who loved people, especially children. She was an incredible mother to our two children, raising them with strict discipline and great love. Being a basketball coach, athletic director, and a co-chancellor of UMass-Boston took me away from my family for many days. Paula did the heavy lifting of parenting by always being there for our children, their friends, and many others. Her dream was to provide children besides her own with wisdom, food, books and other essentials. “I cannot count when I would come home and find other people’s children at our dinner table. Paula always said, ‘If they come in this house, they are going to eat,’” he said.

Steps leading up to the Paula Titus Park in Roxbury. PHOTO: Isabel Leon, Mayor’s Office

Following her death, Charlie Titus and family members established the Titus Foundation to keep Paula’s name alive. 

“I made a five-year commitment to raise $500,000. This is the third year, and we have raised over $300,000. We also give grants of $5,000 to $20,000 to organizations we feel are worthy. We thoroughly investigate every organization before we give them money. It is a lot of hard work. As I am getting up in years (soon to be 75), I am praying that my children will continue to operate the Foundation when I can no longer do so. I believe that is what their mother would want — for her name to continue to help guide young people to successful lives,” he said.

On June 4, there was a park named in Paula Titus’ honor at 66 Fort Ave.

I close this story with thoughts on the official dedication of Paula Titus Park — an event attended by Olympic great Edwin Moses, Michelle Wu, the mayor of Boston, and several other dignitaries, including Paula’s sister Debbie, who drew laughter and applause when she stated, “My sister was a good listener who gave you solid advice and her opinion, whether you asked for it or not.”

Charlie Titus, golf, Paula A. Titus, Sports, Titus Foundation