"I just remember her being such a light in the room, and you just couldn't help but notice her," Patty Sullivan shared.
The beautiful, incredibly funny, and talented Betty White may not be with us anymore but fans and all those close to her still reminisce the love and light she left behind. The Golden Girls icon passed away in her sleep on December 31, 2021, at the age of 99. She reportedly died due to a cerebrovascular accident, according to her death certificate obtained by PEOPLE.
America's sweetheart suffered a stroke six days before her death. A source told the outlet that "it was a mild stroke. She died peacefully in her sleep." White's longtime agent and friend Jeff Witjas said: "Betty passed in her sleep peacefully without pain. To me this is the most important thing and brings me comfort as her dear friend. Anything else is private to Betty."
"Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever," Witjas added. "I will miss her terribly and so will the animal world that she loved so much. 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."
Betty White and husband Allen Ludden at home, 1972. 💑 pic.twitter.com/GS4I9bD9Ui— Groovy History (@GroovyHistory) October 6, 2022
More recently, another one of the late icon's longtime friends decided to publish a book in White's honor. The two knew each other for a whopping 53 years. Patty Sullivan is ready to tell the world stories from her decades-long friendship with White. Sullivan told TODAY that she didn't plan on making the book public. It was initially a journal just to treasure memories of her friend. But someone close to her encouraged her to share her stories with the world. While everyone knows about the late comedienne's sense of humor, Sullivan wanted to highlight “the values she lived.”
Speaking of the first time she ever laid eyes on White, Sullivan revealed that it was in 1968 along with White's late husband Allen Ludden. "I think we've all experienced being out in public somewhere and you just notice a human being that walks into the room," she shared. "They are just a light with their love. And that's what I remember about Betty. She just was sparkling. This was early into her marriage with Allen, and she just adored him so much. They truly were that love in each other's lives—the love of each other's lives—and it just showed all over their person. And so I just remember her being such a light in the room, and you just couldn't help but notice her."
In fact, in her last moments, White reportedly called out her late husband's name, Allen, who she called "the love of my life."
"I just miss her presence,” Sullivan continued. “I miss that she wasn't with us this Thanksgiving weekend. I miss that we don't have that one-on-one time in her house in Carmel. We shared so much without even talking, you know, to sit on the sofa with her and watch the sunset with her. It was those quiet moments where you're so comfortable with someone that you don't have to have conversation. I miss her light. I miss her joy."
Betty White's Pearls of Wisdom: Life Lessons from a Beloved American Treasure was released on December 13.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Toby Canham