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The legendary Betty White passed away on December 31, 2021, just 17 days before her 100th birthday.
Her close friend and agent Jeff Witjas released the following statement shortly after news broke of White’s passing.
“Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” Witjas said of his friend and client. “I don’t think Betty ever feared passing because she always wanted to be with her most beloved husband Allen Ludden. She believed she would be with him again.”
Over the next couple days, rumors began swirling about how she passed away, since she seemed to be in good health, even filming a promo for her 100th birthday celebration a couple weeks prior.
Witjas released another statement shutting down those rumors.
“Betty died peacefully in her sleep at her home,” he said. “People are saying her death was related to getting a booster shot three days earlier but that is not true. She died of natural causes. Her death should not be politicized — that is not the life she lived.”
White’s fans are very passionate and are paying tribute in any way they can, including putting flowers on her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Because she has so many fans, many have wondered when and where they could attend her funeral or memorial service, but Witjas just revealed that they won’t be able to.
He told PEOPLE that arrangements are currently being made for White’s funeral, and it will be private.
“The arrangements are being handled privately and that was Betty’s wish,” Witjas said. “As in life, she never wanted people to make a fuss over her.”
He added that if fans have a desire to pay tribute to White, they can make a donation to one of her favorite organizations including The Los Angeles Zoo, Tree People, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Wildlife Learning Center, Actors and Animals for Others, The Aquarium of the Pacific and Guide Dogs For the Blind.
“If someone has a desire to do something in her honor, you can support or donate to one or more of her favorite charities or even donate to a local animal charity of your choice,” he said.