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St James AME Church, Elgin, Illinois St James AME Church, Elgin, Illinois

William Small 1918-2005 William Small 1918-2005

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William Small 1918-2005

Posted on Wed, Nov 9, 2005

St. James recently lost one of our long time members.
 
William (Bill) Small was born April 27, 1918 to the union of late James and late Alice Mae Brown in Drummond, Tennessee. He attended school both in Tennessee and Arkansas. He was called to his civic duty on July 21, 1937 and joined the army. He valiantly fought in World War II and toured through Europe, the Philippines and Japan.
 
After leaving the army he moved to Elgin where he developed a true passion for baseball and had an opportunity for a try-out with the Philadelphia Phillies (1946). Baseball’s loss was Elgin’s gain. He began his long career with Union National Bank in 1946. This venture spanned over 25 years. He also had the opportunity to pursue his passion through the sponsorship of the bank’s baseball team – The Union National Bank Braves. Bill played and managed this team into his 40’s.
 
He began his pursuit of another long tenure at Shakeproof I.T.W. and the corporate offices of I.T.W.  He retired in 1990. During his entire working career he maintained an entrepreneurial spirit. He owned a janitorial business, gas station, parking lot and car detail shop, where he employed several young men.
 
His spiritual life blossomed in 1951 when he joined St. James A.M.E. Church of Elgin. He served as a faithful servant, Steward, Pastor’s Steward and sang in the melodic ensemble-The St. James Five.
 
Although he worked very hard, he loved to play sports. The “Pro”, a nickname he earned for his prowess on the golf course. His love of baseball and his beloved beleaguered White Sox brought him much joy. Additionally, he bowled well into his 70’s.
 
He was a man of all seasons – and very devoted to his family. He leaves to mourn his wife, Vera of over fifty years; four daughters, Janice Small Kelly, Billie (Paul) Barnett; Dr. LaVeta Small; and Renee Fagans; seven grandchildren; eleven great grandchildren; and a host of friends and relatives.
 
Funeral services were held on Thursday November 3, 2005 at 11:00 a.m. at St. James A.M.E. Church in Elgin. Burial was at Bluff City Cemetery.
 
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