Robert “Bob” Hollingshead Small

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

Bob was born to Ethel Hollingshead Small and Harry Alonso Campbell Small on Sept. 4, 1923, in Bethlehem, Pa., where he lived for most of his childhood. His family moved to Braintree, Mass., 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, Fla. 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 of Technology, 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. Their marriage has been an inspiration to many!

Bob started the industrial engineering division at Hormel Meat Co. in Austin, Minn., and later became plant manager. After moves to Alabama and Ohio, Bob moved his family to Gainesville, Ga., 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 & Co. 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 84.

Bob was a longtime 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's 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 toward 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; two daughters, Barbara Small Lewis of Duluth and Susan Small Jaeggli and her husband, Wilson Southwell Jaeggli of Dallas, Texas; grandchildren, Charles Spencer Lewis and wife, Meghan Baker Lewis of Atlanta, Catherine Ansley Lewis of Duluth, Elizabeth Farmer Blalock and husband, Myron Geer Blalock IV of Houston, Texas, and Caroline Campbell Farmer of Dallas, Texas; stepgrandchildren, Carron Jaeggli Batt and Edward Alexander Batt of London, England, Dr. Nelson Southwell Jaeggli and wife, Erika Moravec Jaeggli; and step-great-grandchildren, August Southwell Jaeggli and Raina Gabriele Jaeggli of Dallas, Texas.

A memorial service celebrating Bob's life will be held Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Gainesville. The family will receive friends following the service in the parlor of First Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The First Baptist Church Ministry of Caring and Sharing, 751 Green St., Gainesville, GA 30501, or a . 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

Memorial Park Funeral Home North Riverside Chapel, Gainesville

Funeral Home

Memorial Park North Riverside Chapel
989 Riverside Drive Gainesville, GA 30501

Published in on Nov. 22, 2012