Phyllis C. Small

FALMOUTH — Phyllis Carolyn (Cole) Small died on Aug. 16, 2011, at Falmouth by the Sea in Falmouth.

She was born on Nov. 25, 1923, at the family home on Middle Road in Falmouth, the daughter of Clarence S. and Mildred (Harmon) Cole.

Mrs. Small graduated as an honor essayist from Falmouth High School in 1941. She earned her bachelor of science degree in education at the Gorham Normal School and was permitted to serve as a cadet teacher prior to graduating in 1944. Mrs. Small later attained a master’s degree in education from Gorham State Teachers College while teaching and raising a family.
Mrs. Small married Walter A. Small of Yarmouth in 1947. The couple lived near her family’s home in Falmouth and later in Westbrook. Eventually, they moved to Mussel Cove on Falmouth Foreside, where they converted a cottage into a four-season home and resided for over 40 years. For many years, they hosted the Mussel Cove Association’s annual picnic. She and her husband enjoyed all Casco Bay had to offer, including boating and swimming. She established a “January Dip” tradition for the neighborhood families, friends and anyone she could talk into sharing in an ocean swim on New Year’s Day for a number of years, even into her 80s.

Mrs. Small was a professional educator for 33 years. She taught at the Sweetser Elementary School in Cumberland and also in Gray. She served as the principal of the S.G. Huston School in Falmouth in the early 1960s, and later became a reading specialist for children in the South Portland School Department.

Mrs. Small was active in her community. She was a guide at Portland’s Victoria Mansion and, as a member of the Falmouth Congregational Church UCC for many years, served on several church committees. A member of Friends of the Falmouth Memorial Library, she mowed the library’s lawn regularly. From 1985-1987, Mrs. Small served as state president of Delta Kappa Gamma International, a professional honorary society of women educators, which recognized her as a 45-year member in 2011.

Throughout her life, she enjoyed many activities with family and friends: camping, canoeing, boating, swimming, skiing, snowmobiling, reading, theater-going, baking, rooting for the Red Sox, and golfing.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Walter A. Small; and a sister, Marian F. Ridgeway.

She is survived by two sons, Bruce A. Small of Raymond and Bryan E. Small; two grandchildren; a brother, Donald F. Cole of South Portland; and three generations of nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life service was held at Falmouth Congregational Church, UCC, 267 Falmouth Road, Falmouth, on Saturday, Aug. 20. Please visit to view a video collage of Phyllis’ life and to share your condolences, memories and tributes with her family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a scholarship fund for Delta Kappa Gamma, Beta Chapter, Scholarship Fund, in care of Barbara Penley, 57 Riverbend Drive, Yarmouth, ME 04096.

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