January 28, 1939 - April 18, 2021
The passing of Mr. William "Bill" Thomas Small, Jr., age 82, is being announced by his daughter Maria. William departed his earthly walk on Sunday, April 18, 2021, peacefully at his home with his daughter by his side. William Thomas Small, Jr, affectionately known as “Bill,” began his illustrious life on January 28, 1939 in Wilmington, NC as the eldest son of the late William Thomas Small, Sr. and Lila Elizabeth Murphy Small. He was a born leader. His first leadership role was that of big brother and mentor to each of his five siblings. He took this role very seriously and maintained very close relationships with all siblings and their families throughout his life. His outstanding leadership abilities were highly valued and utilized during his distinguished career as well as in his personal life. Bill graduated from Williston High School (1956) and received his B.S. degree in Chemistry (1960) from North Carolina Central University (NCCU). He was a member of the track team and pledged Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. As a freshman, he met the love of his life, Rosa Mae Williamson. They were united in Holy Matrimony on December 23, 1960. He received his M.S.P.H. degree (1969) from the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the School of Public Health (SPH) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Now the Gillings School of Global Health). He subsequently continued work in environmental health through the North Carolina State Board of Health (currently the Department of Health and Human Services), as an occupational health chemist in the Epidemiology Division, Occupational Health Section. A call for increased diversity raised by Black students at UNC, led him back to the university. In 1971, he was he was recruited to the UNC SPH to increase minority student enrollment in graduate degree programs. Within a year, he more than doubled the number of minority students at UNC SPH. He served as Assistant Dean for Students and then Associate Dean for Students, retiring from the School of Public Health in March 1999 as Associate Dean and Senior Advisor for Multi-cultural Affairs. Upon his retirement, the Minority student caucus annual conference keynote lecture was named in his honor. During his tenure at UNC-CH, Bill was active in numerous activities and programs with faculty, students and staff and received various awards and recognitions. He was recognized as UNC Student Organization Advisor of the Year (1992-1993), received the Harvey Elliot Beech Award from the UNC Black Alumni (1993) and the award for Outstanding Health Service to the Minority Community (1990) from the National Black Caucus of Health Workers of the American Public Health Association. In 1999 he received the prestigious C. Knox Massey Award, for Unusual, Meritorious, and Superior Service to the University of North Carolina. Following retirement from UNC, he served as visiting professor at his alma mater NCCU in the Department of Health Education and at St. Augustine's College. At NCCU, he also coordinated the Minority Aging Project and served as assistant golf coach. At St. Augustine, Bill and the late Roamless Hudson, established the first undergraduate program in industrial hygiene and safety at a historically black college/university. Bill was a relentless advocate for community health. He served as chairperson of the Durham County Board of Health and on the Board of Housing for New Hope, an organization dedicated to serving homeless individuals and families in Durham County. He was committed to his church family, Abiding Savior Lutheran, and active with the NCCU Alumni Association and James E. Shephard Sertoma Club. He cofounded the Black Men’s Prostate Cancer Support group at Lincoln Community Health Center. He held leadership positions in countless nonprofit, community-based organizations. Bill was passionate about the sea and the woods and enjoyed painting reflections of the natural world. His ideal day was spent outside in the company of his brothers. He was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed exuberant fellowship with his Boating Club, Fishing Club, Hunting Club and Golf Clubs. In all activities, he was a teacher. He loved to challenge and inspire energetic young minds. He and Rosa shared a deep commitment to supporting students in a variety of practical ways, including financially, to ensure the achievement of their educational goals. In recognition of their unwavering student support, the Carolina Public Health Magazine (2010) wrote: “Small has never stopped believing in and working for public health initiatives, diversity and educational opportunities for minority students..…he and his wife recently have endowed The William Thomas Small Jr. and Rosa Williamson Small Scholarship.” When the Scholarship was announced, they expressed their ongoing commitment in the following way: “We recognize the importance of instituting a strong financial base as vital to the School’s program to attract and train talented minority students. Moreover, a solid, well-defined student financial assistance program is crucial to the School’s ability to compete for the best and brightest students…. “We are excited about the potential benefits of this effort and encourage others of like enthusiasm to join with us in continued support of diversity-enhancing initiatives (Bill and Rosa Small) Bill is preceded in death by his loving wife of 53 years, ‘Rosa’. He is survived by his daughter, Maria Jacqueline Small, son-in-law, Clarence Glover(Shelia (dec); “daughter’ Gwynn T. Swinson, ‘son’ Stan Carter; two grandsons, Stephon and Troy Miller(Brianna), granddaughter Laila; Brothers, Joseph L. Small (Thenia), Donald R. Small, Walter D. Small (Scarlett), Julius A. Small (Linda); Sister, Velma Small (Richard); Sisters-in-law; Barbara “Babs” Lula Fryar (Joseph), Mary Alice Watkins(Willie, dec), Mary Williamson (Samuel, dec), ‘sister’ Almeta ‘Toni’ Jordan; three aunts, Altheria Smith Patton, Bessie Smith Dozier (Richard); Irene Fullwood; one uncle, Willard Smith, Jr. (Frannie), four godchildren, Akilah Ensley, Samuel Lee Jordan Jr., Audrey Jordan Wiggins, Karen Jordan Jarret and a dear friend, Grace Curtis. ‘Uncle Bill’, “Uncle Small”, ‘John bull’, ‘El Torro’, is cherished by a plethora of loving family, friends and students. In Bill’s spirit……Always go outside. Play. Enjoy nature Funeral services will be held on the lawn of the Church of the Abiding Savior Lutheran located at 1625 S. Alston Avenue, Durham, NC 27707 on Thursday, April 22, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. To view the Celebration of Life Service for Mr. William "Bill" Thomas Small, Jr. through Zoom Live Stream: Please click the link below to join the webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88308932127? Webinar ID: 883 0893 2127 Passcode: 956914 There will be no public viewing. All COVID-19 restrictions will be in effect. . In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to: ~Ivy Community Center, designating the Rosa W. Small Scholarship on the memo line. 4222 Fayetteville Rd. Durham, NC 27713 ~The NCCU Foundation, Inc., PO Box 19363, Durham, NC 27707, designating the William T. and Rosa W. Small Endowed Scholarship on the memo line Online memorial contributions may be provided at https://www.nccu.edu/donation/, including the William T. and Rosa W. Small Endowed Scholarship Fund in the additional gift designation box. ~The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health William Thomas Small Jr. and Rosa Williamson Small Scholarship PO Box 309 Chapel Hill, NC 27514-0309 For online contributions: www.giving.unc.edu Please keep this family in your thoughts and in your prayers.
The passing of Mr. William "Bill" Thomas Small, Jr., age 82, is being announced by his daughter Maria. William departed his earthly walk on Sunday, April 18, 2021, peacefully at his home with his daughter by his side. William Thomas Small,... View Obituary & Service Information
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