Kathleen Small
1931 - 2019
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Kathleen Margaret Small

Sep. 11, 1931 - Feb. 8, 2019

Kathleen passed away at home in her sleep the morning of February 8, 2019. She was a vibrant, social, active woman all her life, playing tennis into her early 80's and creating beautiful quilts for all her grandchildren. Her valiant cardiology team worked with her during these last years to afford her the best quality of life possible.

She leaves behind her husband of 65 years, Harvey and their children Matthew (Carolyn Myers), Sarah, Aaron, and Patricia Small. Grandchildren: Uma Kendra, Mica Miro, Ian and Grace Samish, Raia and Chelsea Small, and Rebecca and Douglas Russell. And Great granddaughter Isla Miro.

Her parents were from Scotland. Father, William Cuthbert Mann, found work as a stone-mason in Canada during the Depression and eventually brought his wife Catherine and sons Cuthbert and Douglas to Ville LaSalle outside Montreal. Kathleen was born the next year.

Kathleen grew up in Ville LaSalle and attended local schools. When she was 11, a major loss occurred when beloved brother Douglas in the RCAF was lost over the Baltic Sea in 1942. He had taught her to ski in the Laurentian Mountains. She once agreed to teach Sunday School but only until the ski season started. After High School she worked in town in graphic arts. In 1950 she enrolled in the nursing program at the Royal Victoria Hospital Montreal and became a nurse in 1953 enjoying her work in the Neurology Institute.

In September 1952, she met Harvey Small, a McGill medical student, on a blind date. He became enamored of her and she soon became the Light of His Life for the next 65 years. They were married in 1954, and promptly had three children. When Harvey served in the Air Force following his medical residency, the family spent three years in Florida at Eglin Air Force Base followed by two excellent years at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. A wonderful maid, Nina, ran the house so Kay was able to be quite active: Life Saving training, tennis, bridge and friendships with other medical wives and travels to Thailand and Hong Kong.

The family returned to Burlingame, Harvey's early boyhood hometown, and Patricia was born in 1965. Kathleen embraced her new life in California and became an accomplished water colorist and keen tennis player, her favorite game. She continued to ski and went parachute gliding in Mexico. In the early 70's she renewed her nursing license and then in 1976 completed a BA in Sociology at Notre Dame De Namur. She wanted to do more traveling so she went into the travel business and visited many countries but could always have seen more. She loved to read and kept the library busy. With every activity she made many new friends. She loved a good conversation and learning about other people and cultures.

Eventually settling in Burlingame Hills, Kathleen managed the home and the finances and life was very agreeable. She was active with friends, played tennis at the Peninsula Tennis Club, helped guide her grandchildren and enjoyed gardening. She was very active for many years in the Burlingame Hills Improvement Association. Kathleen nurtured her creativity by taking up quilting in the 1990's and made numerous beautiful and artful quilts. She was engaging and genuinely connected with everyone who was fortunate enough to cross paths with her in life. She was loved by many and will be greatly missed.

A Life Celebration will be held at Kohl Mansion, Burlingame, on Saturday afternoon, March 23, at 3:00 pm. A reception will follow. Donations in her honor may be made to Shelter Network, Mission Hospice or Planned Parenthood.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Feb. 26 to Mar. 3, 2019.
Celebration of Life
03:00 PM
Kohl Mansion
Funeral services provided by
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