Rexford W. "Ford" Titus, III, age 74, of Oconomowoc, Wis., and Naples, Fla., died Nov. 16, 2020, at AngelsGrace Hospice, Oconomowoc, from complications of COVID-19. Ford is survived by his beloved wife of 34 years, Roberta "Bobbe" Titus, as well as brother Kent (Sherry) Titus, sister Betsy Titus, children Jeff (Susan) Robinson and Jill (Jeff) Dickson, and grandchildren Ali, Jessica and Drake Dickson and Noah Trieber and Sarah Vida.
Ford came to ProHealth Care’s Waukesha Memorial Hospital in 1969 from Xavier University in Cincinnati to complete his MBA with a focus on hospital administration. He found that he loved the work and community, and never left. A formational, approachable, innovative and generous leader in Waukesha County, Ford served the community as president and CEO of ProHealth Care, where he spent his career of 42 years. Ford’s success in building the organization was rooted in the strong partnerships he fostered with physicians, employees and the community. During his tenure, the organization grew to become a regional health network that included three hospitals, 26 health centers, home health care, assisted and independent living communities and West Wood Health and Fitness Center. In 2004, per Ford’s vision, the system opened AngelsGrace Hospice, now an even more significant chapter in his life’s story.
Throughout his career, Ford was a force behind many civic organizations. He chaired the boards of the Waukesha County Business Alliance, the Waukesha County Community Foundation, the Waukesha County Technical College Foundation and the Wisconsin Hospital Association Information Center, and served on the boards of La Casa de Esperanza, Waukesha State Bank and the Blood Center of Wisconsin (now Versiti). In 2001, he was recognized with the Waukesha County Business Alliance’s Don Richards Award for Leadership.
"It is a noble, noble undertaking," Ford once said about his career in a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel interview. Family and friends would say he applied this belief to all he did, traveling, telling stories, boating and enjoying long, lingering lunches with friends.
The family will hold a private memorial service, followed by a celebration of Ford’s life when all can safely gather again. The family suggests memorials be sent to AngelsGrace Hospice (prohealthcare.org) and the Lake Area Free Clinic (lakeareafreeclinic.org), both in Oconomowoc.