Wilma Frances Totten

October 04, 1929 - November 16, 2022

Wilma Frances Totten

October 04, 1929 - November 16, 2022


Wilma Frances Berg Totten passed away on November 16, 2022, in Bellingham Washington surrounded by her daughters. Wilma was born on October 4, 1929, in Renton, Washington, to Hugo and Frances (Harris) Berg. She spent her formative and early adult years in Issaquah, Washington. Wilma loved growing up in Issaquah at a time when she and her siblings could roam the hills, and explore the woods and lakes freely. Her love of nature and knowledge were important aspects for her and her family. Wilma’s family also loved to sing. In 1948 Wilma married Larry Totten and started their family.

As a young woman, Wilma had always wanted to travel and see the world. When the opportunity arose in 1962, Wilma and Larry moved their five daughters from Issaquah to Manila, Philippines. This experience ensured a life of adventure – scuba diving with sharks, traveling to many different locales, experiencing a wealth of cultural knowledge, flying alongside birds, and much, much more. She was a lifelong conservationist and lover of nature.

While in the Philippines she was an active member of the Episcopal Church. She worked in collaboration with the church to manage and support a dynamic family planning clinic and nutrition clinic. She was also a site manager for the World Vision children’s program that supported and nurtured the families of 400 children.

She developed and directed a residential summer camp on the tropical island of Balesin The camp emphasized a respect and knowledge of nature with a fair amount of singing and fun!

Wilma was involved in several singing groups-Sweet Adeline’s, Asia Minors as well as her church choir. If there was an opportunity to strike up a song, Wilma was an enthusiastic leader. She developed many lifelong friendships through singing.

Wilma was passionate about reading and literacy. She was involved with the Whatcom Literacy Council as a volunteer and then as its director. Wilma was especially proud to know that she had helped so many local families learn the English language and become proficient in basic literacy. She was also involved with the Whatcom Land Trust, counting swans as a citizen-scientist by request, and an avid participant in the democratic process.

Wilma is preceded in death by her husband, Lawrence (Larry) Totten. Wilma is survived by her sister Lora Lea Akerlund (Fred), brother Larry Berg (Gayle): her five daughters and their partners: Lesly Black (Shmuel Meitar) Carol Totten (John Carpenter), Lan Totten (Steve Garrison), Jeanine Totten, Susan Totten (Ken Wall); her grandchildren Leona Sondie, Robin Growden (Sean Baetz), Patrick Winn (Michelle), Linnea Growden (Clyde Gregory), Luisa Berne (Aaron), Joshua Beckermann (Paige) Ian Winn (Virginia), Nico Beckermann (Claire File), her niece Frances Berg, and last but not least, and her great-grandchildren: Caroline and Christopher Winn, Killian and Rowan Baetz, Basil and Selena Hizey, Nicholas and Quinn Gregory and Violet Berne.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Whatcom Literacy Council, the Whatcom Land Trust, or a charity of your choice in her name.

An informal Graveside Service  will be on Saturday, August 5, 2023, at 10:00 am at Greenacres Memorial Park, 5700 Northwest Drive, Ferndale, WA.

A Celebration of Life will take place on August 5, 2023, from noon-3 pm at The Boathouse 2600 Harbor Loop Rd, Bellingham, Washington at Zuanich Point. Light food and beverages will be served.

Celebration of Life

  • Date & Time: August 5, 2023 (12:00 PM - 3:00 PM)
  • Venue: The Boathouse
  • Location: 2600 S Harbor Loop Road Bellingham, WA 98225 - (Get Directions)

Graveside Service

  • Date & Time: August 5, 2023 (10:00 AM)
  • Venue: Greenacres Memorial Park And Event Center—Ferndale
  • Location: 5700 Northwest Drive Ferndale, WA 98248 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (360) 384-3401

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1 responses to Wilma Frances Totten

  1. Wilma was a dear friend of my mother, Phyllis Entrikin. I knew her through my mom and loved her energy and enthusiasm. She was certainly an amazing and delightful woman.

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