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Ruth Opal Totton

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“To Ruth's family --I just learned of Ruth's passing and want to extend my deepest condolences to her family and friends. Ruth was quite a lady, and...Read More »
1 of 1 | Posted by: JJ Gallagher - Farmington Hills, MI

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Ruth Opal Totton, age 92 of Warren, and formerly of Farmington Hills, died Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at the Autumn Woods Health Care Facility in Warren. She was born May 12, 1925 in Indiana, daughter of the late Walter B. and the late Mary Evaline (nee: Stone) Burk.

Growing up in the rural environs of Indiana, Ruth learned many of her early lessons in life from the hard working farming community in which she was surrounded. As Ruth reflected upon her childhood, she would often reminisce on how "dirt poor" they were,…but it didn't really stand out because everybody was in the same situation. Neighbors helping neighbors was the answer to their challenges, and Ruth grew to be quite the successful woman in its wake.

At 22 years of age, Ruth took an important and life changing step when she entered the gates of marriage with the love of her life, Erwin William Totton. Exchanging their vows in 1947, Ruth and Erwin shared a blessed and happy 25 years together until Erwin's passing in 1972. But as their journey together as husband and wife began, the two lovebirds made their first home in the bedroom community of Redford. It is there that the next 10 years found them building upon the comforts of home and family, and growing deeper in love with each passing day. Eventually, Ruth and Erwin had visions of something new and different where it came to home & hearth, so they decided to take a dive in a new pool,…this time to the growing city of Farmington Hills.

Along with attending to the needs of her family, Ruth also worked outside of the home. In her earlier years of employment at Dexter Chevrolet in Detroit, Ruth learned the important and detailed aspects associated with the position of bookkeeper,…and that is the career path and realm in which she poured the best parts of her dedicated service and excellence going forward. Following her experiences at the dealership, Ruth next move was to a local nursing home who was seeking a skilled bookkeeper. With countless hours of business acumen under her belt, Ruth was a shoe-in for the job and was offered the position,…a job she grew to love, and one that spanned the next 23 years. And not only did she love her job, the nursing home was a mere one block from her home which afforded Ruth the convenience if simply walking to work. Whenever you would engage Ruth in a conversation about her work, she often brought it to the more comedic level by addressing herself as a "Bean Counter,"…a tag that had become a term of endearment for her.

When it came time for enjoying life away from work, Ruth had some pretty eclectic tastes,…a first important & interesting mention being her desire to fly. It was an itch she scratched by taking flying lessons and, ultimately, getting to the point of her first solo flight,…a feat that was defined this amazing woman. Yet as monumental as it was achieving those heights (no pun intended), Ruth took that solo flight,…and never flew again. But what an addition to her personal profile.

Ruth was known for being quite the "social butterfly," always seeking to create experiences and moments that make for wonderful memories. One of these was dancing. Following Erwin's passing, Ruth embarked on dancing lessons and soon learned how to trip the light fantastic and sachet around the dance hall in style. Drawing from her more sporting interests, Ruth loved both the socially infused, and low exertive, sports of golf and bowling. Whether in search of that elusive "Hole-in-One" or striving for that miraculous 300 game, for Ruth it was more about enjoying the gifts of friendship, laughter and love.

Ruth was also known for being quite the cook. Possessing the old world, traditional skills that come with preparing meals for a family, Ruth certainly knew her way around the kitchen and created many tasty delights over the years. Give her a stove and an oven and she could perform some incredible magic to match many-a-culinary professionals. Meals at Ruth's place were always revered,…if you left her table hungry, you just weren't tryin'.

And not merely at home for her family and friends, Ruth's cooking prowess was also enjoyed through her charitable outreach at church. Ruth was a devout member of Nardin Park Methodist Church in Farmington Hills, a woman with a servant's heart and a giving spirit that simply sought to impact others with the gifts God had given her. The church also provided her the joys of friendship through the many fellow members that became special over the years. Along with the countless activities they shared and enjoyed together, one of her favorites were the many trips and travels on which they embarked.

As the effects of aging began to take its toll, the time arrived for Ruth to make a change and move closer to her daughter, Linda. Still quite independent, Ruth moved into the Autumn Woods Health Care Facility in Warren where she would spend the next 10 years of her life. While residing closer to Linda, she used to love joining her daughter at the various craft shows where Linda was selling her wares. It was always an eagerly anticipated "Mother & Daughter" time of sharing.

A loving wife, mother and grandmother, Ruth touched a multitude of hearts and souls in her journey through life and leaves a loving legacy for all to cherish who knew this wonderful lady. She will be missed immensely and loved eternally.

Ruth was the beloved wife of the late Erwin William Totton, and dearest mother of Linda S. (Bob) Gawne and Larry (Connie Sue) Totton. Loving grandmother of Steven Robert ( Christine) Gawne, Scott Michael (Amy) Gawne, Lisa Marie (Joseph) Raymond, and cherished great-grandmother of Preston Robert & Brendan Gawne, and Parker, Paisley & Teddy Raymond.

A Memorial Service for Ruth will be held at some point in early 2018. Please check back for updates.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the