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Shirley Edna (Eldridge) Small

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Shirley Edna (Eldridge) Small Obituary
RALEIGH-Shirley Edna Eldridge Small, 94, formerly of Garden City, NY, and Hendersonville, NC, died on January 9, 2015 at the Stewart Health Center of the Springmoor Retirement Community in Raleigh, NC. She was born February 13, 1920, in Brooklyn, New York. Although she was born on Friday the 13th, she lived a long and happy life. She was the daughter of Edna Fleming Eldridge and Edgar Cubberly Eldridge and was raised in Montvale, New Jersey with her older brothers Jack and Sheldon, both now deceased, and her younger sister Priscilla.
Shirley graduated from Park Ridge High School, studied at the School of Related Arts and Sciences in Manhattan, and worked for the Texas Company (which later became Texaco). In the fifth grade she met Alden Killin Small, who became her steady boyfriend in high school, and 1942 they married. They were married for 61 years. Their first son was born shortly before Alden returned from serving in the Army during World War II. After Alden returned, they moved to Williston Park on Long Island, where they raised their growing family. They subsequently moved to Garden City, New York. When Alden retired from Chase Manhattan Bank, where he worked for 34 years, they moved to Hendersonville, NC, and lived in happy, active retirement for 20 years. In 2000, they moved to Raleigh to be closer to their children.
Mrs. Small had beautiful red hair, had a wonderful sense of humor, loved to laugh, loved to dance, enjoyed hosting parties for her many friends, and was the quintessential homemaker. Her house was always immaculate; she took pride in ironing every article of clothing. She had exquisite taste in clothes and was an expert shopper who excelled at finding bargains. She was also an accomplished seamstress and spent countless hours sewing sequins on costumes for her daughter's dance recitals. In times of stress Shirley maintained exceptional fortitude and a gentle sweetness. She was the steady calm center of a busy extended family.
She gave generously of her time to many causes, serving as a Girl Scout leader, as a Pink Lady volunteer at a Long Island Hospital for over 30 years, and in Hendersonville as a Hospice patient volunteer. The Episcopal Church was an important part of her life. In Garden City she was an active member of the Altar Guild of the Cathedral of the Incarnation, and for the St. James Church in Hendersonville she and Alden developed and for 17 years ran a senior ministry program called Fun, Food and Fellowship. In Raleigh she became a member of the Church of the Nativity.
She is survived by her three children, A. Thomas Small and wife Judy Jo Small of Raleigh, Priscilla E. Small and husband, Richard P. Baer of Kill Devil Hills, Clifford J. Small and wife Rosario C. Small of Raleigh; her sister Priscilla Formoe of Deltona, FL, five grandchildren, Benjamin T. Small and wife Kelly Small, Jane A. Small and husband George Sanderson, Luke S. Baer, Alexander D. Baer, and E. Zoe Baer and husband Eric Meibos; four great-grandchildren, Austin T. Small, Heidi S. Small, Eleanor R. Sanderson and Beatrice V. Sanderson; and several godchildren.
Her family is grateful for the loving care given Shirley by the nurses and staff at Springmoor Retirement Community and by Transitions LifeCare.
A memorial service will be held on January 22, 2015, at 3:00 P.M. in the Springmoor auditorium.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Memorial Fund of the Church of the Nativity, 8849 Ray Road, Raleigh, N.C. 27613 or to Transitions LifeCare, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607.
Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, Saint Mary's St., Raleigh, NC.
Published in The Times-News on Jan. 15, 2015
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