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Mary Ellen Totten-Lovell

1931 - 2019
Mary Ellen Totten-Lovell Obituary
Mary Ellen Totten-Lovell

Lafayette - I'm writing this because I've finished the last chapter of my life on earth. It all started on June 23,1931, thanks to my parents, Thomas Henry Binney and Leitha Montgomery Binney, at Home Hospital.

In looking back, I had a great childhood growing up in West Lafayette (remember playing Kick the Can in the street?) and graduating from West Lafayette Senior High School (Junior High was in the OLD high school building).

Then on to Purdue in the Liberal Science School (40 students in this program) to get my BS in Speech Therapy and Hearing, as it was called. I graduated in 1953. Later I became the 1953 Alumni president for many years. College held many adventures besides studying. I joined a sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, which gave me life-long close friends, not just college friendships. I held a part-time job at WBAA as record librarian besides having a 15-minute weekday child's program called STORY LAND SPECIAL all 4 years. Playshop (now called Experimental Theatre) also occupied much of my time-acting, painting sets, props, makeup…I was hooked on theatre. My senior year I was president of Theta Alpha Phi. I was a Gold Pepper and member of Mortar Board.

Upon graduating, I married John Totten. He was in broadcasting (radio and later television). We lived several places, ending in Indianapolis for 18 years, and finally moved back to West Lafayette. We had 3 children. We divorced in 1978.

I later married C. William Lovell, and we were together for 22 years until his death in 2013. I loved moving back to my home town, renewing old friendships and making new friends. I worked in travel for 17 years, first at Imperial Travel, and then at Irvine Travel.

I was a member of Central Presbyterian Church, Circle 19, Art League, Mortar Board Alums, Purdue Women's Club, Happy Hollow Garden Club, Comedy Readers, Symphony Guild, Civic Theatre, TAF, and Kappa Alpha Theta. I was deeply appreciative to Civic, Symphony Guild, TAF, and Theta Alums for honoring me with special awards. Hobbies included watercolor painting; creating greeting cards; making wreaths, flower arrangements, and centerpieces; and sewing.

Now comes the important part-my family: daughters Rebecca Kamm (partner Ann Llewellyn), Merritt Island, FL, and Holly Totten Crawford, Orlando, FL; daughter by marriage Christy Lovell Kemp (Jim), Freetown, IN; son Tom Totten, Battle Ground, IN; son by marriage Doug Lovell, Berkley, CA; daughter-in-law Mary Jo Totten, W. Lafayette, IN; grandsons Grayson Kamm (Cathy), Tampa, FL; Austin Kamm (partner Brett Melvin), Chicago, IL; and John Totten (Emily), Indianapolis, IN; granddaughter Mary Totten, Zionsville, IN; granddaughter by marriage Megan Kemp Winters (Adam), Columbus, IN; great grandsons Collier Kamm and Merritt Kamm, Tampa, Fl; brother Joe Binney (Jan), Vero Beach, FL; niece Kris Sheets, CA; nephews Tom Sheets (Millie), CA, and Bob Binney (Kelly), WA; great nieces Kathleen Cregg (Josh) and Tricia Christensen(Justin), CA; Stepdaughter Kristi Travers (Misha), CA; step granddaughter Lindsey Travers, CA; and step grandson, Cameron Travers, CA.

Preceded in death were parents and sister Pat Binney Sheets.

A memorial service will be held 1pm Saturday, June 15, 2019 at Central Presbyterian Church - 31 N 7th St, Lafayette, IN with Pastor Lucia Oerter officiating. Share memories and condolences online at
Published in the Journal & Courier on June 11, 2019
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