Home / ACJ - Named Photos / Kay Titus White aka Katherine Titus White, sister Helen Titus_gwc198 [12]

Thanks so much for clearing up the question and for all the wonderful info on Kay and Helen Titus. Best, jane

gcw198 - Sunday 14 April 2013 08:24:

Just a quick comment on this collection.

Kay Titus was born Katherine Starr Titus in Kentucky on 18 August 1901, daughter of Calvin Welling Titus and Amelia Averill. She was raised in Chicago and in 1923 married George Monroe Wetherbee. The marriage may have been short-lived and by 1927 she was performing in New York under the name Kay Titus. On 7 June 1928 she married Major J. Andrew White in Chicago, Illinois. J. Andrew White (1889-1966) was a pioneer live-sports broadcaster and founder and first president of CBS. She left the stage and established a career in New York as a popular radio broadcaster under the names Kay Titus White and Katherine Titus White. The couple divorced on 27 December 1933 and she then used the name Kay Titus. By 1944 she was working as an information officer with Roosevelt’s Office of Price Administration. On 28 July 1944 she married Lt (later Col) Charles Willard Helser. By this marriage she became step-mother to Brenda Mersereau Helser (born 1926) an accomplished swimmer and gold-medallist for the United States in the London Olympics of 1948. Charles W. Helser died in San Diego on 31 Oct 1966. Kay Titus died in San Francisco on 27 Nov 1969 and is interred with her husband in Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, San Mateo County, California under the name Katharine Titus Helser.

The photograph described as “Kay Titus maybe sold as Helen Titus_ACJ_ebay” is in fact Helen Titus, younger sister of Kay Titus. Helen Elizabeth Titus was born in Illinois on 14 Jun 1907. It is not clear which of the sisters arrived in New York first, but Helen Titus took to the stage as part of the ensemble in George White's Scandals of 1925. In 1927 she played three roles in the Broadway season of Rufus LeMaire's Affairs. In 1929 she married successful automobile salesman Donald Charles Smith but sued for divorce in 1934 claiming his desertion in 1933. At this time she was described in the newspaper reports as a ‘former show-girl’ – following the divorce she reverted to her maiden name. In 1936 she was back in Chicago where she married banker Eugene Edward Ford. They remained together until his death on 19 January 1950. On 6 August 1951 she married Irving Stern Florsheim, retired chairman of Florsheim Shoes (Florsheim & Co). This marriage lasted until his death in Chicago on 18 October 1959. Helen then relocated to California where she married the well-regarded Los Angeles physician and philanthropist Mark R. Keltner. Helen Titus Keltner, known as ‘Honey’, died in Los Angeles on 29 January 2002 and is interred in Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California. Dr Keltner followed her on 12 May 2009.

I have been unable to locate evidence for either sister having children.

If it is thought useful I can post a number of images (for both sisters) extracted from various newspaper reports from the late-1920s to mid-1940s. These include a formal portrait of Helen Titus credited to ACJ that accompanies an article dated 1929.

Grace Kay White appears to have no relationship with the Titus sisters. She was performing on Broadway as early as 1922 in the Greenwich Village Follies. She subsequently toured as an exhibition dancer during the later 1920s, usually partnered by Ralph Wonder with the couple being billed as ‘Society Ball Room Dancers’. In the later 1920s and early 1930s Grace Kay White was performing as a singer and was booked to sing in the Broadway production of ‘Ballyhoo of 1932’ but is not credited. The name Grace Kay White subsequently appears in the 1940s as a songwriter.

Regards,
Graham W.

 

 

 

 

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  • historicalzg - 1Reply
    @ gcw198 : Wow, this is fantastic info, thank you so much! Do we know you from Multiply, Graham? Sorry, my head is full of dust from packing stuff. Would be wonderful if you could add press or other photos to the album, thanks for the offer. Will make sure you have permissions for such. Just go to add photos, find the album in the drop down list and add them that way. Any problems, just ask!

    Best,
    jane
  • gcw198 - 1Reply
    Just a quick comment on this collection.

    Kay Titus was born Katherine Starr Titus in Kentucky on 18 August 1901, daughter of Calvin Welling Titus and Amelia Averill. She was raised in Chicago and in 1923 married George Monroe Wetherbee. The marriage may have been short-lived and by 1927 she was performing in New York under the name Kay Titus. On 7 June 1928 she married Major J. Andrew White in Chicago, Illinois. J. Andrew White (1889-1966) was a pioneer live-sports broadcaster and founder and first president of CBS. She left the stage and established a career in New York as a popular radio broadcaster under the names Kay Titus White and Katherine Titus White. The couple divorced on 27 December 1933 and she then used the name Kay Titus. By 1944 she was working as an information officer with Roosevelt’s Office of Price Administration. On 28 July 1944 she married Lt (later Col) Charles Willard Helser. By this marriage she became step-mother to Brenda Mersereau Helser (born 1926) an accomplished swimmer and gold-medallist for the United States in the London Olympics of 1948. Charles W. Helser died in San Diego on 31 Oct 1966. Kay Titus died in San Francisco on 27 Nov 1969 and is interred with her husband in Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, San Mateo County, California under the name Katharine Titus Helser.

    The photograph described as “Kay Titus maybe sold as Helen Titus_ACJ_ebay” is in fact Helen Titus, younger sister of Kay Titus. Helen Elizabeth Titus was born in Illinois on 14 Jun 1907. It is not clear which of the sisters arrived in New York first, but Helen Titus took to the stage as part of the ensemble in George White's Scandals of 1925. In 1927 she played three roles in the Broadway season of Rufus LeMaire's Affairs. In 1929 she married successful automobile salesman Donald Charles Smith but sued for divorce in 1934 claiming his desertion in 1933. At this time she was described in the newspaper reports as a ‘former show-girl’ – following the divorce she reverted to her maiden name. In 1936 she was back in Chicago where she married banker Eugene Edward Ford. They remained together until his death on 19 January 1950. On 6 August 1951 she married Irving Stern Florsheim, retired chairman of Florsheim Shoes (Florsheim & Co). This marriage lasted until his death in Chicago on 18 October 1959. Helen then relocated to California where she married the well-regarded Los Angeles physician and philanthropist Mark R. Keltner. Helen Titus Keltner, known as ‘Honey’, died in Los Angeles on 29 January 2002 and is interred in Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California. Dr Keltner followed her on 12 May 2009.

    I have been unable to locate evidence for either sister having children.

    If it is thought useful I can post a number of images (for both sisters) extracted from various newspaper reports from the late-1920s to mid-1940s. These include a formal portrait of Helen Titus credited to ACJ that accompanies an article dated 1929.

    Grace Kay White appears to have no relationship with the Titus sisters. She was performing on Broadway as early as 1922 in the Greenwich Village Follies. She subsequently toured as an exhibition dancer during the later 1920s, usually partnered by Ralph Wonder with the couple being billed as ‘Society Ball Room Dancers’. In the later 1920s and early 1930s Grace Kay White was performing as a singer and was booked to sing in the Broadway production of ‘Ballyhoo of 1932’ but is not credited. The name Grace Kay White subsequently appears in the 1940s as a songwriter.

    Regards,
    Graham W.
  • historicalzg - 1Reply
    ohikkoshi wrote on Nov 23, '11
    It was the auctioneer's mistake.
    New Katherine Titus White: (ebay link for "Beautiful Kay White ACJ Estate" but I don't have the pic, do you vlad? Or is it the one here as Kay Titus ACJ ebay.1?)
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