Lucia Viller Smith, who spent most of her adult life in New Orleans, died on Saturday, June 25, 2016 in Sacramento, California. She was 91 years old. She was the daughter of the late Guillermo Behrens and Mercedes Behrens of Caracas, Venezuela. She was predeceased by her two husbands, Pierre Blaise Viller and James Carlos Smith, Jr. and her two oldest daughters, Michelle Viller Carter and Jacqueline Viller Offutt, as well as her two brothers, Jorge and Guillermo Behrens. She is survived by her only remaining sibling, Norah Behrens Lombardo of Mexico City, and four of her six children: Pierre Guillaume Viller (Susan) of Mandeville, Louisiana; Monique Mercedes Viller of Auburn, California; Noelle Viller McEwen (Bradley) of Portland, Oregon; and Madeleine Viller Sehman (Kenneth) of Salisbury, Maryland. She is also survived by nine grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren, and ten nieces and nephews. Born Lucia Behrens in Caracas, Venezuela on August 3, 1924, she grew up there, then left by steamship to attend college at Marymount in Tarrytown, New York until her education was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. She went home to Caracas and met her future husband, Pierre Blaise Villere, a military intelligence officer stationed there at the outset of the war. They were married in 1943. After the war and a short stint in Havana, Cuba, they settled back in New Orleans in the early 1950s, but in 1967, she lost Pierre after a brief battle with cancer and found herself a widow at age 41. Within a few years, she remarried to an old family friend, James C. Smith, Jr. His corporate career took them to Tokyo, Japan, and Lucia immersed herself into Japanese culture. She collected Japanese porcelains and antiquities, and took lessons to learn the Japanese language. After many years there, and after final short stints in Salisbury, Maryland and Houston, Jim retired, and they moved to their farm in Kiln, Mississippi to enjoy their retirement years together in 1982. But after Jim's death in 1987, she again found herself alone; she retired to her condominium in the Garden District of New Orleans, sold her farm, and moved on with her life. She immersed herself in yoga, the symphony, the cultural arts, and international travel. She lived in New Orleans until her children moved her to be under the care of her daughter Monique in Sacramento, where she lived her last years under her care. Friends and family are invited to attend a Memorial Mass on Saturday, October 22nd at 9:00 a.m. at the family's parish, St. Francis of Assisi Church at 631 State Street. In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer donations to St. Francis of Assisi Parish.
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