Leila Totah

Leila TotahLeila Totah, our beloved mama, grandma, great-grandma (Tete) and friend left this earth peacefully on Dec. 17, 2017, after a two-and-a-half-year battle with lung cancer. She was at home surrounded by her loving family.

Leila was born Oct. 5, 1935, in Beirut, Lebanon. She was the oldest of five children, which included Isam, Hala, Badr and Mimi. She attended an all-girl Catholic boarding school in Ramallah, Palestine, of which she had fond memories. At the age of 19, she married Nadim Totah, in an arranged marriage, leaving her homeland.

She came to this country barely speaking English, and they started their life at China Lake, where Nadim was an engineer and Leila was a homemaker. Together they raised three children. Leila was active in the community and enjoyed ceramics, playing bingo, going to casinos and traveling.

Throughout the years, she attended numerous sports activities and other events for the kids…grandkids…and great grandkids and was their biggest fan. She was blessed to live next door to her best friend of 58 years, Valnita Baker.

During her illness, she moved to San Diego so she could be near her doctors. She enjoyed her many trips to the ocean…her “Happy Place.” Living near her adored great-grandchildren was an added bonus.

Her greatest joy in life was her family. She is survived by her three children Ned Jr. of Concord; Renda (Mike) Childers of San Diego; Shadia (Alan) Smith of Ridgecrest; her six grandchildren Ashley and Brendan Totah, Jack Harrison and Jamie Childers, Kayla and Amanda Smith; and her two great-grandchildren Taylor and Jack Harrison and their mother Lauren Cuttitta. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Nadim and brother Badr.

Memorial services will be held at the H.K. Holland Memorial Chapel on Saturday, Dec. 30, at 2 p.m. A reception will follow. Services will also be held in San Diego at the Hilton, Harbor Island on Tuesday, Jan. 2, at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Lighthouse Prayer House in Ridgecrest, finding solutions for homeless people and others in need or to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

— Submitted by the family of Leila Totah

Story First Published: 2017-12-22