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George L. Totman

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George L. Totman Obituary
Totman, George L.

McLean, NY: George L. Totman, age 83, of Church Street, McLean, NY, passed away with his loving wife of 61 years by his side on Friday, January 31, 2014, from complications following heart surgery. George was born May 19, 1930 in Cortland, NY the son of the late Leroy and Maude (Cleveland) Totman. He dearly loved the McLean community he resided in for the last 62 years. A staunch advocate of volunteerism, he did not just talk about it, he did it! In his early years, he began his lifelong passion of volunteering by opening his home to Fresh Air Kids for 11 years, mentoring Boy Scouts, actively serving the United Way, McLean Church, McLean Community Council, and serving as sexton for the McLean Rural Cemetery for over 40 years. He initially helped McLean Fire Department become a fire district and served the Fire Department in almost all offices for 62 years, participating in all fundraising venues, particularly enjoying the Thanksgiving and BBQ dinners. Many will remember him for his tireless efforts in chairing the McLean Firemen's Field Days. In recognition of his unwavering dedication and passion, his beloved community bestowed upon him the nickname of "Mr. McLean" or "Mayor of McLean" amongst numerous other distinguished awards received throughout his lifetime. He will be in the hearts of many of those he assisted financially. His extraordinary enthusiasm for serving others extended well beyond his immediate community. He actively and faithfully devoted his time serving The Groton Business Association, The Town of Groton Planning Board (serving as chairperson for 30 of those 33 years), The Tompkins County Emergency Management Committee, and a 37-year member and Past President of The Groton Rotary Club, receiving the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow Award. He was a member and Secretary of the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency and a life member of the Groton American Legion. George retired from management in Smith Corona after 32 years, followed by "a great 14 years" working for The Town of Lansing as a Zoning Code and Planning Officer. Even in retirement, he rang the Salvation Army Bell, drove for FISH, and assisted at Red Cross Blood Drives. Additionally, there were numerous organizations he was not a member of that he supported. Not only did he love his community, but he loved his country as well, committing to serve in the U.S. Army until his medical discharge. That same patriotic spirit eventually led to a desire to run for political office resulting in election to the Tompkins County Board of Representatives for 12 years, serving the Tompkins County Legislature as a member of the Government Relations and Public Safety Committees. Political candidates in his favor on the local, county, and state level were indeed fortunate to have him actively campaign for them; and he welcomed the public into his home for political venues. Survivors include his devoted wife, Norma (Neal) Totman of McLean; two sons and daughters-in-law, Michael (Kitty) Totman of McLean, Dennis (Julie) Totman of Dryden; grandchildren, Denny (Melissa) Totman of McLean, Chad (Katie) Totman of Cortland, Trevor Totman of Utica, Naydine Humphrey of Dryden, Jimmy Totman of McLean, and Nick Totman of McLean; great-grandchildren, Jake and Julia Totman of McLean, Avi and Cameron Totman of McLean and Max and Kyle Totman of Cortland; brother-in-law, Ed Wingenbach of Cortland; sister-in-law, Audrey Waterson of Scott; along with several nieces and nephews. George hosted the Totman family reunions for over forty years, a tradition his wife Norma plans to continue, as he was the last of 12 siblings who preceded him in death. Friends are invited to visitation on Friday, February 7th, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Perkins Funeral Home, 55 West Main Street, Dryden, NY. There will be a brief service on Saturday, February 8th, at 11:30 a.m. at the McLean Fire Hall followed by a celebration of George's life with dinner served by the McLean Ladies Auxiliary and McLean Community Church Women's Fellowship. Please bring a story or remembrance of your acquaintance with George to share. Burial, delayed until spring, will be in McLean Rural Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the McLean Fire Department, a charity dear to George's heart. As etched on his headstone, please remember to "Support your community, be a volunteer."

Published in Ithaca Journal from Feb. 4 to Feb. 6, 2014
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