Cover photo for Dorothy Grace Small's Obituary

Dorothy Grace Small

July 25, 1925 — October 6, 2023

Battle Creek

Dorothy Grace Small

 

Dorothy Grace Small, 98, of Battle Creek, MI, passed away on October 6, 2023, in Battle Creek. She was born to the late William and Victoria Darling, July 25, 1925, in Reading Berkshire England. She was the oldest girl and third in birth order of 13 children, she had six sisters and six brothers. Grace met and married Donald W. Small of Battle Creek, where they lived and raised a family of three children. She is survived by her children, Derrick Small of Battle Creek, Collin Small of Battle Creek and Tracie Landis of Seabrook, TX. Growing up in the 1920’s and 30’s in England she learned to work hard and take care of her family at an early age. Grace started working full time at the age of 14. Her first job was at the local Burberry factory where she worked sewing raincoats to help the family survive. They lived in a two-bedroom town house with one bathroom and coin operated gas lighting on the first floor. During WWII her father wouldn’t let her sign up for active duty until she was 21 years old. On July 22, 1946, three days before her 21st birthday, Grace became a Leading Aircraft Woman in the Royal Air Force (RAF) and served from July 1946 until July 1949 in Yatesbury, England. Prior to joining the RAF, she would often volunteer with the USO to support the troops. It was at a USO dance in Newbury in 1945 that she met Donald W. Small while he was serving in the Army Corps of Engineers in England. He would later go on to serve in Europe but he kept in touch with Grace, and they wrote to each other for several years. It was in December of 1949 that Grace had the opportunity to travel to the United States. She didn’t hesitate and started her journey on the H.M.S. Queen Elizabeth arriving in New York on December 7, 1949. Don met her there and they were engaged in April of 1950. They were married later that year on October 28, 1950. Grace and Don were married for 50 years before his death in June of 2001. They were members of the Maple Methodist Church, they loved to travel, and spend time with friends and family. They continued dancing and participated in dances at Western Michigan University, and other local events. She was a member of the DBE, Daughters of the British Empire and had many friends from England. She loved spending time at the family cottage in northern Michigan. Grace developed a love of fishing and would often take others with her. Many happy memories were made at the cottage with friends and family. She also loved spending time gardening, knitting, and watching movies. The family will receive friends at the Richard A. Henry Funeral Home on Friday, October 27, 2023, from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held 12:00 p.m. Saturday, October 28, 2023, at Maple Methodist Church with Rev. Linda Stoddard officiating. Graveside services will be held 11:30 a.m. Monday, October 30, 2023, at Fort Custer National Cemetery. www.henryfuneralhome.org

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dorothy Grace Small, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, October 27, 2023

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Friday, October 27, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Monday, October 30, 2023

11:30am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Fort Custer National Cemetery

MI

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 192

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree