John C. Titchner

John C. Titchner, beloved son, husband, fa-ther and grandfather died suddenly Friday, Feb. 8, 2013.

John was born in Russell, Pa., on Sept. 28, 1941, to Ruth H. Huff and the late Charles A. Titchner.

He grew up in Frewsburg, N.Y., where he developed his passion for farming and farmers, starting his own farming operation at age 13. He eventually sold the farm and went to Cornell University, where he earned a degree in agronomy and joined the USDA Soil Conservation Service (now NRCS).

He married Sandra Newton of Sinclairville, N.Y., and they began a wonderful life together that included multiple promotions and moves and making good friends wherever they lived. Following the birth of their two children, the family settled in Shelburne, Vt., in 1976. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Oklahoma, and retired in 2001 after 20 years as the State Conservationist for Vermont.

From the Columbus Boys Choir summer camp to the choir of the Methodist church, John’s tenor voice enriched numerous singing groups. He inherited his love of music from his mother and passed it to his children and grandchildren.

John’s other lifelong passion was trains, toy ones he could collect, display and run around tracks in the family room (eBay was a terrific discovery in retirement) and especially the “big ones” he could ride on and watch. He would drop everything and head for the car at the sound of a train whistle. He was a familiar sight at Vermont railway crossings.

John is survived by his mother, Ruth Huff of Jamestown, N.Y.; his wife, Sandra; two children: daughter, Tracy Titchner (and her husband Jim Law-son) of Essex, Vt.; and son, Christopher Titchner of Raleigh, N.C.; and three granddaughters: twins: Amelia and Kira Lawson and Magnolia Titchner.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Contributions in John’s memory may be made to Autism Speaks, 1060 State Road, Second Floor, Princeton, NJ 08540; or the Vermont Association of Conservation Districts, P.O. Box 566, Waitsfield, VT 05673.