O’FALLON, IL - A tragedy in Minnesota means heartbreak in O’Fallon, Illinois. Mandy Titze, 57, the beloved founder of "Mandy's Bar and Grill", is dead. Her husband, Brad Titze, 55, is hospitalized in critical condition after a weekend motorcycle accident.
“Mandy's” has become something of an institution at State and Lincoln in the heart of old town O’Fallon.
Mandy is known for holding benefits for people with serious medical issues and accident victims. So, this news seems especially cruel.
“I called her ‘Sugar’,” said longtime customer, Alan Kmetz.
It was hard for people at the bar to talk about the person Mandy “was” Tuesday, because it still seemed so very much like she still “is”.
“She was kind of like a mother to a lot of people,” Kmetz said. “If there was something that was going on in your life she’d give you a call in the next couple of days just to check in on you. She’s done that to so many people I know.”
Mandy and her husband Brad hit a deer and then were hit by a car while motorcycle riding near Winona, Minnesota around 5:45 Sunday night.
A memorial outside “Mandy’s” is still growing with a specially inscribed bench and loads of flowers.
Perhaps most touching are the messages on the sidewalk scrolled with chalk.
“Ride well and fly high” reads one. “Heart of gold” reads another.
Everyone who came through the door was family regardless of race, religion, or background, customers said.
That’s who Mandy “was” or better yet, still “is”.
“Whenever I would come in, she’d always give me $5 and say hey, play our music for us. There was a song by ‘Maroon 5, called ‘Sugar’,” Kmetz said. “I would play that and we would both sing it back and forth…last night my wife played it for me. It was very emotional, you know,” he said choking back tears. “I’ll miss you sugar. I’ll think about you a lot when I’m in here and cheers to you.”
Funeral arrangements for Mandy were pending, Tuesday.
The couple's three adult sons were at her husband's side in a Minnesota hospital, a friend said.
No one else was seriously hurt in the accident.