I agree that there seems to have been title inflation over the years.
However this seems to come more from students than teachers. Some students think that being a student of so-and-so Shihan gives them more status than being Joe Bloggs student.
This was brought home to me when someone tried to suggest that me calling my father Dad rather than Smith Shihan in the dojo was somehow disrespectful! (we both put him right when we'd stopped laughing).
I've actually never called any of my teachers Shihan only Sensei.
Even Chiba Sensei while talking about your Dad always addressed him as Mr Smith as did most people.We addressed him as Mr Smith as a token of our respect him.Even years after Mr Smiths passing I still think of him as Mr Smith.I do miss him even now.He was always a gentlemen, courteous and cared about the students.
Hope all is well with you and your family.Please pass on Jenny and my warmest regards to your Mum aka Mrs Smith.Tell her we send her our love and best wishes, Cheers, Joe.