Monday 4:03pm
March 30, 2015
Currently 68°F

Robert Small, 89

Passed Away: 11/19/2012

Bob Small died peacefully on November 19, 2012 in Gainesville, Georgia at the age of 89.

Bob was born to Ethel Hollingshead Small and Harry Alonso Campbell Small on September 4, 1923 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where he lived for most of his childhood. His family moved to Braintree, Massachusetts where he formed many happy memories of living on the coast and growing up in a shipbuilding family. He formed a love of all things nautical and as a young boy he even had his very own boat sent to him from his uncle in Jacksonville, Florida. After graduating from Braintree High School, Bob began his college career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. When World War II began, Bob moved south to enroll in the Naval ROTC midshipman’s school at The Georgia Institute ofTechnology, where he received his commission. With a major in Aeronautical Engineering, he was assigned to the Escort Carrier USS Casablanca in the Pacific as a naval officer until he returned to Georgia Tech and graduated as an Industrial Engineer in June of 1947.
While finishing his degree in Atlanta, Bob met the love of his life, Doris Woods. As social chairman for Theta Chi Fraternity, Bob quickly scratched Doris’ name off the ‘available’ list for dates at the ‘match parties’. They had an eight month courtship and were married in June of 1947. They recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. Their marriage and family made Bob feel like "the luckiest man alive" as he repeated many times over the years. There has rarely been a pair as dedicated to each other as Bob and Doris. There marriage has been an inspiration to many!

Bob started the industrial engineering division at Hormel Meat Company in Austin, Minnesota and later became plant manager. After moves to Alabama and Ohio, Bob moved his family toGainesville, Georgia to become a corporate engineer for the Jesse Jewell Poultry Co. He served as general production manager and as a plant manager while at Jewell. He next worked as a consulting engineer for two consulting firms, Lockwood Green and Robert & Company. While consulting he worked with the United States Navy to reduce aircraft noise and accidents at seven master jet bases. He was thrilled to fly alongside Navy pilots in various aircraft during these projects. Part of the study was to actually be ejected from a stationary jet trainer, which he was eager to experience!
Bob had planned to retire, yet his enthusiasm and energy couldn’t be retired, so he decided upon a second career with the Norton Agency in Gainesville as a real estate agent. He truly retired in June of 2008 at the age of 85.
Bob was a long time member of the Gainesville Rotary Club, serving as President from 1990 to 1991. He also served as District Governor for two years. He took pride in his perfect attendance status for over 50 years, often making up meetings across the country as well as in Hamburg, Germany while visiting one of his and Doris’ Rotary Exchange Students. He was a member of the First Baptist Church, served as a deacon and was a longtime member of the Anglers Sunday School Class.
Bob was also an avid photographer, skilled craftsman and a licensed commercial pilot for 45 years. He owned a Cessna Skylane and spent many happy hours flying his family, friends and business associates.
In addition to all that he did professionally, he applied his incredible enthusiasm, "zest for life" and positive attitude towards his devotion as a husband, a father, a grandfather and a friend to many. He often referred to himself as ‘lucky’, but it is his family who is the luckiest of all to have been blessed by his infectious spirit, and loving nature.

Bob is survived by his wife Doris Woods Small and two daughters, Barbara Small Lewis of Duluth, Georgia and Susan Small Jaeggli and her husband Wilson Southwell Jaeggli of Dallas, Texas, grandchildren Charles Spencer Lewis and wife Meghan Baker Lewis of Atlanta, Georgia and Catherine Ansley Lewis of Duluth, Georgia, Elizabeth Farmer Blalock and husband Myron Geer Blalock IV of Houston, Texas and Caroline Campbell Farmer of Dallas, Texas, step-grandchildren Carron Jaeggli Batt and Edward Alexander Batt of London, England, Dr. Nelson Southwell Jaeggli and wife Erika Moravec Jaeggli their children August Southwell Jaeggli and Raina Gabriele Jaeggli of Dallas, Texas.

A memorial service celebrating Bob’s life will be held Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Georgia. The family will receive friends following the service in the parlor of First Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may me made to The First Baptist Church Ministry of Caring and Sharing 751 Green Street Gainesville, GA 30501 or a charity of your choice. The family has requested the Anglers Sunday School Class serve as honorary pallbearers.

Memorial Park North Riverside Chapel 989 Riverside Drive Gainesville, GA 30501. 770-297-6200. Online condolences at

Funeral Information

Back to Obituaries

  • Click here
  • Click here
  • Click here
  • Click here
  • Click here
Gainesville, GA 30501
Wind: NW 12 mph
Dew point: 38°F