It is with great sadness that the family of Mrs. Barbara (Collins) Totten announce that she passed away on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 after a valiant battle with COVID-19.
Born and raised in New York, Barbara would go on to become the first person in her family to attend college, receiving a Bachelor of Arts from Douglass College at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. A lover of history with a keen interest in politics, Barbara was recruited by the CIA. She would go on to work for the Social Security Administration and later for BlueCross BlueShield.
Barbara and her late husband, Marvin Totten, settled in Milford, CT where they raised their family. Barbara was an active and dedicated member of the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church family for more than fifty years, serving on the Vestry, chairing the St. Peter’s chapter of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW), representing the parish for multiple Diocesan conventions, serving as an usher for Sunday service, and cooking church suppers. Barbara was civic-minded, donating more than 25 gallons of blood throughout her life to the local Red Cross, and volunteering countless hours with the Milford Democratic Town Committee, including serving as a poll worker for many elections. She believed deeply in the importance of democracy and equal rights for women and for all people. Barbara was a fearless advocate for maternal health and volunteered in Yale New Haven Hospital’s groundbreaking research study on Rh factor and hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (HDFN) in 1966 resulting in the successful births of thousands of children, including her daughter, Laura.
An avid golfer, skier, and pool player, Barbara also loved the beach, spending her summer days teaching children how to swim and bodysurf. A lover of theatre, she was a longtime subscriber at Long Wharf Theatre and enjoyed trips into New York City to see Broadway shows. Barbara is survived by her daughter, Laura Totten; son, James Totten, and his wife, Shannon Finney; and many nieces and nephews, cousins and friends that she loved dearly.
A private burial service for Barbara will take place in the coming days. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Barbara’s name to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Milford, CT or the Milford, CT Chapter of the American Red Cross.
To plant a tree in memory of Barbara C. (Collins) Totten, please click here.