Joe Lawrence Small

Published 12:26 pm Thursday, May 2, 2024

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Joe Lawrence Small, age 88, of Fostoria, Alabama, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, April 24.  He was born on February 3, 1936 in Selma.

Graveside Services was held on Sunday, April 28 beginning at 2 p.m. at New Bethel Braggs Cemetery with Winchester Hagan officiating and Dunklin Funeral Home directing.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents, William Dennis and Annie Laurie Small; brothers, William Dennis Small, Jr., Derrell Small and Monte Small; sisters, Ladean Small, Dannie Hean and Jane Wheeler.

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He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Susie; his children, Joe Lawrence Small, Jr. (Patricia), Susie Carolyn Harrell (David), Michael Henderson Small (Michelle, deceased); grandchildren, David Merle Harrell, Cody Harrell (Sarah Anna), Joanna Small Robertson (Michael), Josh Payne (Beth), Denise Van Cor (Jameson); 12 great grandchildren, along with a number of nieces, nephews and other extended relatives and friends.  

A few years after graduating from Carlowville High School, Joe went to work with the Southern Bell Telephone Company in Selma, where he worked for 41 years. 

Soon after marrying in 1958, he joined the Selma branch of the Alabama Army National Guard, where he served for 6 years after basic training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina for 6 months.

Over the years of his retirement, he became a remarkable and articulate woodworker.  His favorite items to make were schoolhouse clocks, making one for each family member and several more.  Joe also made many beautiful pieces of furniture and wooden buckets.  He loved his shop, spending countless hours in it most everyday until his disability.  He was a bluebird enthusiast, building dozens of bluebird houses. He watched them nest every year, checking the house often.

Joe was an outstanding member of the Telephone Pioneers of America.  He served the Selma Branch as President for several years, donating hundreds of hours to this charitable organization, selling Pioneer Cookbooks.  Donations went to deserving places such as Camp Smile-A-Mile, a camp for children with cancer; Camp Bluebird, a camp for adults with cancer; School of the Blind as well as other deserving institutions.

Joe was a very affectionate, caring, devoted, and generous husband, father, and grandfather. His name was Honey to his precious grandchildren.

He was a member of the Farmersville United Methodist Church where he attended until his disability. He was a true southern gentleman.

We are so grateful to God for the 28 wonderful years of retirement that he sorely deserved.

Honorary pallbearers are Sol Tepper, Jerry Casey, Quintas Williamson, Walter Pierce, Joe Lightsey, Larry Palmer and Richard Lang.

Memorials are requested to be sent to Talladega School of the Blind, 205 South Street East, Talladega, AL 35160.

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