WEST POINT—Virginia Brown Vranian, 101, passed peacefully at her home in West Point on February 25, 2019. Her children were with her; the sunny blue winter sky was bright; the windswept Pamunkey River was glistening as her spirit rose to eternity.
The daughter of Hattie and Winnie Brown, Virginia was born the snowy night of January 29, 1918, in Barhamsville, New Kent County. As a young child, the family moved to a new home built by her father and grandfather in Eltham, where she attended New Kent Public Schools finishing at age 16, and then attended Mary Washington Teacher’s College attaining her teacher’s degree at age 18.
After that she resided in West Point through her life. She taught elementary school in Mathews County and Port Richmond before marrying Henry Vranian in 1939.
Over the next 65 years of marriage, Virginia and Henry enjoyed a long loving relationship-raising their four children, extending love and hospitality to friends and relatives, maintaining their residence on the banks of the Pamunkey. She reminisced that Henry was ‘the wind under my wings,” enjoying and adapting to his energy, inquisitive nature, infectious joy of life, and the many family vacations and overseas adventures.
Following her husband’s death in 2004, she remained alert, interactive, and engaged in life. She was blessed with many loving friends. Until her passing, she crocheted winter scarfs, shawls and caps for friends, family, and the needy-a personification of her love of others.
Her inner peace, optimism, quiet spirituality, fortunate health, her mutual love and respect for so many around her allowed her to adjust to life’s twists and turns-“growing more lovely growing old.”
In 1925, at age seven, she had the honor of cutting the ribbon opening the first Eltham Bridge across the Pamunkey to West Point. Eighty five years later in 2010, she was honored again with her grandchildren’s assistance to slice the ribbon, opening the current new Pamunkey Span.
For over 75 years she was an active member of the West Point United Methodist Church and the Monday Club, and in many ways quietly helped those in need.
Virginia was predeceased by her husband, Henry; oldest son Dr. Henry Vranian Jr.; brother, Clinton Brown; sister, Ruth Piper; and sister, Louisa Brown.
She is survived by her daughter, Elizabeth Winfred Vranian (Ross Christianson) of Kilmarnock; and sons, David Gregory Vranian of Louisville, Colo., and Dr. Robert Vranian (Kathleen) of Fredericksburg; seven grandchildren, Laura Todd Hopper (John), Garnett Woodley (William) both of Richmond, Clinton Vranian (Justine) of Indianapolis, Ind., Lt. Com. Jentry Vranian-Wade of Jacksonville, Fla. (Brian), and Lt. Col. Ben Vranian (Nelli) of Charlottesville, Elena and Roxana Vranian of Louisville, Colo.; 12 great-grandchildren and a very large, loving extended family.
Virginia’s family expresses their sincere thanks and gratitude to her many friends and acquaintances for sharing their love and friendships with her, as well as her church, her healthcare givers, and those who allowed her to live a full life, dying at her beloved home. Special thanks are extended to her loyal caregivers—Johnna, Valerie, Mary, Marie, Destiny, and Vanessa, who treated her with love and respect, enriching her life to the very end.
A funeral service was held at 2:30 p.m., Friday, March 1, at West Point United Methodist Church, 1020 Main Street, West Point, and burial followed in Sunny Slope Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to West Point Methodist Church, Box 610, West Point, VA. 23181, West Point Fire and Rescue Squad, Box X, West Point, VA 23181, and The Good Neighbor Center, P.O. Box 1139, West Point, VA 23181. Tributes may be posted at www.vincentfh.com.