July 5, 1943 - Feb. 18, 2011
Titus Letschert, Sarasota died Feb. 18, 2011.
Titus Letschert lost his battle with cancer after 21 months holding hands with his special partner Caroline Brown and sister Thea. Titus was born in Haarlem, the Netherlands in the middle of World War II and was raised and educated in Velsen. He married Betsie Coolidge in 1995.
His chosen profession was in the Hospitality industry and he started his career with Dikker en Thys in Amsterdam, from there he went to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, next he worked on Insel Mainau for the Swedish Royal Family. Then he crossed the ocean to Toronto, Canada and via Hamilton, Bermuda he landed in New York City, where he was involved in the Sign of the Dove Restaurant, Yellowfinger's Restaurant and Night Club and ran Bill Paley's Ground Floor Restaurant for C.B.S. During that tenure he befriended the likes of Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon and Doc Severinson and catered the wedding of Tiny Tim and Miss Vicky, which was broadcasted on the "Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson. For that occasion he imported thousands of tulips from Holland for the ceremony, a tradition Titus that later continued for a very long time during Easter and Mothers day at his Sarasota restaurant.
His journey continued to Sarasota where he originally managed the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort in 1971, then helped build and run the Grenadier Restaurant on St. Armands Circle and in 1973 with his partner Norbert Goldner he opened Cafe L 'Europe Restaurant, also on St. Armands Circle and introduced the classic European menu to Sarasota. Later they started another Cafe L 'Europe in Palm Beach and Titus opened the Cafe on the Bay on Longboat Key.
Titus was known for his charisma, generosity and always caring about the well being of others.
When hurricanes struck he was there to cater for the relief workers; if he was told about a visit of the Children by the Sea Foundation for kids with terminal illnesses, they would all be invited for dinner. He delivered a carload of turkeys each year anonymously at Thanksgiving. When the Tsunami hit Thailand and Indonesia he flew out there to offer his help.
During his illness Titus received wonderful care and he wanted to give special thanks to Dr. Thomas O'Malley, Dr. Roger Shea, Dr. Richard Brown and staff at Florida Cancer Specialist, Dr. Larry Silverman and staff at 21st Century Oncology and the great staff of Tidewell Hospice of Sarasota. Additionally Titus wanted to give special thanks to Carlos Baharone and Nina Rapala for being there for him every step of the way during this last journey. Above all his thanks goes to his loving partner these past 6 years Caroline Brown who made looking after Titus her life's commitment these past few years. He also leaves behind their beloved dachshund, Gustav.
Titus was predeceased by his brothers Theo and Tars and sister Titia all from the Netherlands.
He is survived by his brother Tom (wife Henny) and sister Thea both from the Netherlands and his brother Trudo (wife Mary) from Sarasota.
A memorial service will be celebrated on Feb.23, 2011 at 10 a.m. At St. Martha Catholic Church, 200 North Osprey Ave. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice of Sarasota or St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
Published in Herald Tribune from Feb. 21 to Feb. 23, 2011.