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Loving mother, grandmother, aunt, and avid bridge player, Lillian died of natural causes on Monday, July 20, 2009 in Chico. Lillian was born on March 31, 1917, in Yuba City, California to her parents, William T. Smith and Birdie Baldwin Smith.

For over 70 years she has proudly called Chico her home. Her move to Chico to attend college became permanent after marrying William John "Bill" Vranna, who preceded her in death in 2005.

Lillian enjoyed sharing treasured memories of growing up in a neighborhood surrounded by both maternal and paternal grandparents. She was proud to be descended from early Jamestown settlers and to be a third generation California native. Her father's ranches provided an adventure-filled playground for her and her sister, Thelma Lindow, and brothers, William Walter and Thomas Truston Smith.

As a young wife and mother, Lillian enjoyed work as a community-volunteer, including charitable work with her sorority Beta Sigma Phi, the American Cancer Society, and Young People's Theater. As a couple, Bill and Lillian enjoyed dancing with their friends in the Let's Dance Club and playing bridge. Bridge was her passion, especially duplicate bridge, which she played weekly until a few months ago.

Once her children were "out of the nest", Lillian began to work with her husband Bill in the family auto dealership, Chico Motors. Later she was employed by Chico Butane, working as an office manager and was very active in the local chapter of the Business and Professional Women's Foundation (BPW). She served her local chapter as president for two terms, 1981-82 and 1987-88, and held many other offices. She was honored to serve as president of the Northern California Chapter of the organization in 1984-1985. Lillian was a well-spoken advocate for women's rights.

Lillian will be greatly missed by her two children, Claudia Vranna Kreis of San Pedro, California and John Vranna and wife Elaine, of Roseville, California; four grandchildren, Jessica Vranna, Rainey Kreis, Heidi Kreis, and Alexander Kreis; nieces, Donna Vranna and Barbara "Bobbie" Vranna Cheney, of Chico; as well as her brothers' children, Carolyn Smith Edwards, William Smith, Thomas Smith, Robert Smith, James Smith, Richard Smith and Thomas William Smith.

Memorial services will be held on Friday, August 7, 2009 at TJ Farms, 3600 Chico Avenue in Chico at 10 a.m. Arrangements are under the direction of Affordable Mortuary, send condolences online at www.affordablemortuary.net.

Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Aug. 4, 2009
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