Retired faculty member Lynne Milano, who taught nutrition and food science for 18 years, died August 27. She was 80.

Born December 13, 1939, she earned her bachelor’s degree and her master’s degree in nutrition from the University of California, Davis. She was hired at Chico State in 1973 to teach in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, and worked as a lecturer until 1991.

portrait of Lynne Milano

Milano continued working for the Butte County Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program for over 20 years, counseling cases involving high-risk prenatal women, infants born to mothers with addiction issues, foster children, and single-parent households. Her passion for nutrition was lifelong, and the American Dietetic Association honored her with its 50-year membership award about 10 years ago.  

Alumna Julie Wetmore (Nutrition and Food Sciences, ’78; MA, Nutrition Education, ’86), who also worked with Milano at WIC, described her as “the most dedicated dietitian I have ever met.” In addition to being intelligent, kind, and thoughtful, Milano never complained about her intense workload.

“I was Lynne’s supervisor, but she needed no supervision. If she wasn’t counseling a family, she was researching therapies to help them,” Wetmore said. “When she trained new staff she also encouraged them to grow personally and follow their dreams. Lynne found joy in helping others.”

Wetmore fondly recalls how Milano would lead staff meetings with stretches and yoga moves, educate the staff about important nutrition requirements, and then end the meeting with a meditation to help everyone relax.  

Many years ago, Milano formed a lunch group for retired WIC employees and friends, and enjoyed attending its monthly outings to new restaurants. She also delighted in sharing her passions and hobbies with all she befriended, often going on walks together or attending yoga classes.

She also had been a member of the women’s group Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) since 1986. She held several offices, including guard, recording secretary, treasurer, vice president, and she walked several times a week with her PEO friends until smoke from this summer’s wildfires put a pause on their outings.

She is survived by her children Katie and John Milano, her younger brother, sister-in-law, and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

A celebration of life will be held at Bidwell Presbyterian Church, where she was a longtime member, at 2 p.m. October 24. Attendance is limited to 50 people but participation is also available via Zoom (Meeting ID: 820 587 4776; Password: LMilano).

The University flag will be lowered Thursday, October 22, in her honor.