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Captain Joseph Thomas Small USN (ret.)


1923 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Captain Joseph Thomas Small USN (ret.) Obituary
Capt. Joseph Thomas Small, SC, USN (ret)

Virginia Beach - Captain Joseph Thomas Small, SC, USN (ret.) passed away on 14 April 2015 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, surrounded by his family, at the age of ninety-two. Captain Small was born in New York City in 1923, the son of Emma and Robert Small. He graduated from LaSalle Academy in 1941; attended Manhattan College; and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on June 6, 1945. He was married in Annapolis on that date to Eileen Mary Gray.

Captain Small's first duty station was gunnery officer on the Battleship U.S.S. Missouri (BB-63). After World War II, he graduated from the U.S. Navy Supply Corps School in Bayonne, New Jersey, and was stationed, during the Korean War, as supply officer of the Destroyer U.S.S. Rodman (DD-456/DMS-21). He also served on the Destroyer Tender U.S.S. Hamul (AD-20) and in the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project (AFSWP). During the Cuban Missile Crisis, he served as supply officer of the Repair Ship U.S.S. Amphion (AR-13). During the Vietnam era, he served as supply officer of Naval Air Station, Norfolk, and Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Virginia. He also served on various Navy and joint service staffs and bureaus in London, UK, and Washington, DC. His last duty station was supply officer of Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico. He retired from the Navy in September, 1975.

After retirement from the Navy, Captain Small joined United Services Life Insurance Company. In 1981, he was appointed Regional Manager for the Norfolk, Virginia Beach Region. He served on the company's Field Advisory Committee during the period 1980-1984. After retirement from the company, he and his wife spent many years travelling the world. He had a passion for fine wine and enjoyed collecting wine and donating from his collection to charitable wine auctions held in Napa Valley, California, and Naples, Florida.

Captain Small was a member of the Cavalier Golf and Yacht Club, Virginia Beach, Virginia; the New York Athletic Club; the Sunset Crest Beach Club, Barbados; and Lago Mar, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Captain Small is survived by his wife of seventy years, Eileen Mary Small; his five children, Joseph Small, Jr., John Small, Christine Carman, Maureen Hooker, and James Small; seven grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and one sister, Margaret Mary Dwyer.

A service will be held at the U.S. Naval Academy Columbarium on 6 May 2015 at 11:30 a.m. Memorial contributions may be sent to the United States Naval Academy Foundation. Online condolences may be made to the family at hdoliver.com.
Published in The Virginian Pilot on May 3, 2015
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