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Betty White’s Agent Says Funeral Arrangements Being Handled Privately: ‘She Never Wanted People to Make a Fuss’

Betty White's Agent Says Funeral Arrangements Being Handled Privately: 'She Never Wanted People to Make a Fuss'

Betty White will be honored privately as the late comedian would have wanted.

Her close friend and agent at APA (Agency for the Performing Arts) Jeff Witjas tells PEOPLE that White — who died at the age of 99 on Dec. 31 — will be put to rest in a private ceremony, which is still being planned.  

“The arrangements are being handled privately and that was Betty’s wish,” Witjas says. “As in life, she never wanted people to make a fuss over her.”

betty white

betty white
Betty White
| Credit: getty

Witjas shared that those hoping to honor White’s memory are encouraged to donate to her favorite organizations, which include: 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. 

While White was widely known for her work on screen, she also had a passion for animal advocacy. The actress worked with the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) — the nonprofit partner of the Los Angeles Zoo — for over 50 years, joining the Board of Trustees in 1974.

Betty white

Betty white
Credit: Angela Weiss/Getty

White was honored as the City of Los Angeles’ “Ambassador to the Animals” in 2006, and was later made an honorary zookeeper by the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers.

More recently in 2017, White received the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal, which recognized her “commitment to wildlife and efforts to create a sustainable planet.”

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betty white

betty white
Betty White
| Credit: getty

White’s death came just weeks shy of what would have been her 100th birthday on Jan. 17. Witjas confirmed to PEOPLE that the Golden Girls star “died peacefully in her sleep at her home.” 

In 2012, nearly a decade before her death, White told New York Times columnist Frank Bruni that she saw “nothing” difficult about aging and recalled her mom’s “wonderful approach to death.” 

White explained, “She said, ‘We know we have managed to find out almost anything that exists, but nobody knows … what happens at that moment when it’s over’ … And she said, ‘It’s the one secret that we don’t know.’ So whenever we would lose somebody very close and very dear, she would always say, ‘Well, now he knows the secret.’ And it took the curse off of it somehow.”

White added, “I have no fear or dread of death. [But] I’m happy as a lark to stay around as long as I can.”