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William N. Small


1927 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
William N. Small Obituary
William N. Small

Va Beach - Admiral William Newell Small, USN (Ret) died unexpectedly on December 9, 2016. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1927, he graduated from Malvern High School at the age of 15, attending Admiral Farragut Military Academy in New Jersey until he was old enough to receive his appointment to the United States Naval Academy, class of 1948.

Following flight school, his long and storied career included assignments at Naval War College, Oceana Naval Air Station as Commanding Officer of his beloved A-6A Intruder Squadrons VA-42 and VA-65, doing several tours in Vietnam. He also served as Executive Officer of the USS Forrestal (CV-59) and Commanding Officer of the USS Independence (CV-62), Commander Carrier Division Three in the Pacific and Commander Sixth Fleet in Gaeta, Italy. In 1981 Bill headed back to the Pentagon as the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. In 1983, he returned to Italy as Commander in Chief, NATO Allied Forces Southern Europe. During Bill's career, he was awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal w/1 star, Legion of Merit w/1 star, Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/1 star, Presidential Unit Citation w/1 star, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal w/ 3 stars, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation, and United Nations Service Medal.

Bill retired in 1985, after forty years of service and moved back to Virginia Beach. He was actively involved in organizations such as the Naval Aviation History Museum and was inducted into the Arkansas Aviation Hall of Fame. He sponsored students to the Naval Academy and supported the Virginia Beach SPCA. As an art lover, he took an interest in the talents of notable local artists, including Ruth Laakso and Charles Kello.

Bill leaves behind his devoted wife of 66 years, Janet Cubbison Small; children, James William Small (Kathie M.) of Danese, WV, Janet Small Zaritsky (Dr. Arno Zaritsky) of Virginia Beach, Joanie Small Marsh (Chuck Davis) of Virginia Beach; seven loving grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and his precious dog Megan to cherish his memory. Our father taught us by example to be humble and kind, to know that our love of country is best shown by our actions and doing the right thing is always its own reward. He was never boastful or used his status to gain advantage over others and was always generous with his time and resources.

A memorial service will be held at Oceana Naval Air Station Chapel of the Good Shepherd, on December 23, 2016, at 11:30AM, with reception to follow at the Officer's Club. If you plan to attend, you must register your full name as it appears on your driver's license:[email protected] to put you on the security pass list at the main gate of Oceana Naval Air Station.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Naval Aviation History Museum: navalaviationmuseum.org or VBSPCA Care Fund: vbspca.com/carefund. Condolences may be offered to the family at www.hollomon-brown.com
Published in The Virginian Pilot on Dec. 18, 2016
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