OBITUARY

James Keith Small

March 23, 1953October 11, 2020

James Keith Small passed away peacefully in his sleep on the evening of Saturday, the 10th of October, 2020 at the age of 67 at his home in Skowhegan, Maine. Born on March 23rd, 1953 in Westbrook, Maine to his mother, Cora Ida York, and his father Shirley Small. He is survived by his wife Dorothy, children Stephanie, Adam and Ricky, and his Grandchildren, Coraline, Geronimo and Torrington, as well as his sisters Linda, Judy and Valerie. James also had the good fortune of being taken in by the late Pauline and Bob Johnson and siblings Gene, Alan, Patrick, Paula, and Lisa after the passing of his parents. A devoted father, husband and career educator, he worked tirelessly to provide a magical world for his children to grow up in. Always a kid at heart himself, he believed that the imagination was the key that unlocked each person’s individual super power. He was an extraordinarily gentle soul who was loved by many, and had endless love to give. He touched countless lives as an Art Teacher for the MSAD 59 and MSAD 54 school districts. Jim made friends at every turn and always knew how to spread his joy to those in need. His students always knew that his classroom was a safe place, free of judgement, where he would do anything in his power to inspire creative thinking and personal growth. Other lifelong pursuits included passion for the arts, film, photography, and last but certainly not least, fishing. Recently retired, Jim had far too little time to be on the water whenever he desired, catching all the trout he could manage. James passed his unfiltered creative energy to his daughter, Stephanie, along with a good portion of his immense compassion for those less fortunate. He would graciously admit cribbage defeat and fish until the bats came out with his son, Adam, and he would always be his son Ricky’s #1 fan. Jim courted his beloved wife, Dorothy after retrieving her lost barrette at the former Sandy Beach in Madison, and the two spent 43 years in love. From barrette to soul mate, James was an ever-devoted husband to his stunning wife and would wade into any sized waves to do it again. Visiting hours will be held on Friday October 16, 2020 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Smart & Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan, Maine. Anyone wishing to virtually attend the funeral service may do so via the Albion Christian Church website - https://albionchristianchurch.com/ , there will be a link located there to go to the live Facebook link starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday October 17, 2020. Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Smart & Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan, Maine. Anyone who wishes to leave the family messages can do so on our website at – www.smartandedwardsfh.com In lieu of flowers, the Small family will be encouraging anyone who wishes to donate to a scholarship for all manner of creative pursuits and the arts in Mr. Small’s name.

James (Mr. Small to many) would want us all to move forward with pride and confidence, while reminding us to also Imagine Again, and Imagine More.

  • FAMILY

  • He is survived by his wife Dorothy, children Stephanie, Adam and Ricky, and his Grandchildren, Coraline, Geronimo and Torrington, as well as his sisters Linda, Judy and Valerie. James also had the good fortune of being taken in by the late Pauline and Bob Johnson and siblings Gene, Alan, Patrick, Paula, and Lisa after the passing of his parents.

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Services

  • Viewing Hours

    Friday, October 16, 2020

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, October 17, 2020

Memories

James Keith Small

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Robin Moore

October 22, 2020

He was such a lovely man and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

Gail Johnson

October 16, 2020

I have known Dorothy and Jim a long time. We had times of laughter and having delicious dinners and breakfast. Sitting on their deck enjoying the sun and its warmth. Watching all kinds of birds coming to feed. My love and condolences go out to Dorothy and all of the family. I will miss Jim so much and our soulful interest in all the arts. Peace.

Rick Sy

October 15, 2020

Jim,
I'm totally at a loss of words hearing that your passing. I've spent the last few days thinking of you, and the profound influence that you and Dotty had on me, from the time we met 40+ years ago, when I was just a sophomore in high school. I can't help smiling inside, thinking about those days gone by at Skowhegan High School, where you introduced me to coffee, art, photography, videography, laughter, soldering cables back together, repairing record players and the pleasure of just talking.
You taught me and the gang so much about ourselves in so many ways...
I recall the times the gang would visit you and huddle around a small TV, where you introduced us to West Side Story, The King and I, Grease, Julia and the art of cinematography. You took us under your wing....we laughed and laughed. You cared so, so much about us, and we you!!!!
I remember dropping in on you and Dotty when it was bath time for Adam, Rick and Steph. Getting them all cranked up and laughing my ass off as I left...while you had to get them to bed, all wild and with all the bath water on the floor……. Good night, good luck….
Visiting you and Dotty, while home from college, with a case of Miller for you and a bottle of wine for Dotty. We'd spend the evening playing cribbage, eating popcorn, laughing and giggling when Dotty got a little tipsy. Sharing stories. Teaching my “friend” how to play cribbage. That was my sanctuary.
The Christmas tree, with the lights, decorations and love that you and Dotty created for each other and for the kids in your home. You, up on the roof, dressed as Santa, and all the other memories that you allowed me to create around that tree too, which I will always love.
House sitting, tending the coal stove, cooking for a date, while you were gone. The dirty diaper from Steph that you stuffed under my car seat (oh what a smell). I still have the picture of her sitting on my lap in my car…
I remember how proud you always were of Adam, Ricky and Steph. The

Brian Dougeneck

October 15, 2020

I first met Mr. Small in art class at Madison Area Memorial High School. Right from the start, I knew he was a truly unique person. I never considered myself an artist, but in his class, he taught me that art included so much more than painting, drawing, and clay. It also included something even more powerful; creativity. He was always happy and his empathy for others is something I strive to have. Whether in class or through his more recent Imagine Again videos, I could always count on Mr. Small to brighten my day and push me outside of my comfort zone. Thank you for being you and I send prayers to your family, friends, and the countless other people who were blessed to cross paths with you.

Katrina Billings

October 15, 2020

I am deeply saddened to hear of Jim's passing.

He was a great mentor for me when I first started teaching.
I appreciated his insights and his sense of humor.
He loved teaching and loved his family.
I am honored to have had the opportunity to
work with him.

He enriched the lives of countless people throughout his career.
His legacy will continue in the hearts and minds of his friends, family and students

Dana Hamilton

October 15, 2020

I am shocked and saddened beyond words by Jim’s passing. He was a beloved friend and even though we haven’t seen much of each other over the years, when we did run into one another, it was like no time had passed and we were able to pick up where we left off.
I remember the first time he spoke to me about Dorothy and he just beamed. All of us around him at the time took such pleasure in watching the romance blossom and rejoiced at their wedding.
The world has gone a little dimmer without the light that shone from him. My condolences to Dorothy and all of Jim’s family.

Richard Barnes

October 15, 2020

I remember Jim Small as an enthusiastic, young art teacher back in the late 1970s when we hired him in MSAD 54 late in my tenure as asst. supt. of schools there. One of my goals during my brief tenure there was to re-build the art program from kindergarten through high school. Jim's energy and talent as an art teacher was a key piece of achieving the goal. Although I lost track of Jim over the years after I left the area, I never forgot his name or his early contributions. Reading the obituary, I can see that his early promise carried through to generations of students in MSADs 54 and 59, and to his role as husband and father. You will always and deservedly cherish his memory.

Butch Asselin

October 15, 2020

Sad to see Jim's obituary. My condolences to Dorothy and his children. While it has been nearly 20 years since I last spoke to Jim, I will never forget his ever present smile and upbeat attitude. He was a treasure.

Robin Davis

October 15, 2020

Meeting him first around 1980 at Madison Junior High as a student I was lifted up in the arts with confidence via Mr Smalls guidance and encouragement in my art. In which I still embrace today.
He understood the importance of art for children who may not shine on the sport field but instead shined in the arts.
Later being a videographer for our wedding and later educator to our children shows what kind of impact he had on many. Generations are impacted by him. Generations will miss him.
To his family it is our hope that all your memories help you through this time. You have so much to be proud of as he certainly will be missed by all. Robin, Dayson, Delancy and Ravin

Tracie Lesperance

October 15, 2020

Mr. Small was one of the many teachers that left an immeasurable imprint on my life. He was one of my favorites; he always allowed us to express ourselves through art. I am saddened to hear off his passing and hope that his family can find comfort knowing he touched many lives. It has been years since I had seen him, but I never forgot his compassion and lessons in art, as I still create art to this very day. Rest easy, Mr. Small, and thank you for being apart of my journey.

FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

James Keith Small passed away peacefully in his sleep on the evening of Saturday, the 10th of October, 2020 at the age of 67 at his home in Skowhegan, Maine.
Born on March 23rd, 1953 in Westbrook, Maine to his mother, Cora Ida York, and his father Shirley Small.
He is survived by his wife Dorothy, children Stephanie, Adam and Ricky, and his Grandchildren, Coraline, Geronimo and Torrington, as well as his sisters Linda, Judy and Valerie. James also had the good fortune of being taken in by the late Pauline and Bob Johnson and siblings Gene, Alan, Patrick, Paula, and Lisa after the passing of his parents.
A devoted father, husband and career educator, he worked tirelessly to provide a magical world for his children to grow up in. Always a kid at heart himself, he believed that the imagination was the key that unlocked each person’s individual super power.
He was an extraordinarily gentle soul who was loved by many, and had endless love to give. He touched countless lives as an Art Teacher for the MSAD 59 and MSAD 54 school districts. Jim made friends at every turn and always knew how to spread his joy to those in need. His students always knew that his classroom was a safe place, free of judgement, where he would do anything in his power to inspire creative thinking and personal growth.
Other lifelong pursuits included passion for the arts, film, photography, and last but certainly not least, fishing. Recently retired, Jim had far too little time to be on the water whenever he desired, catching all the trout he could manage.
James passed his unfiltered creative energy to his daughter, Stephanie, along with a good portion of his immense compassion for those less fortunate. He would graciously admit cribbage defeat and fish until the bats came out with his son, Adam, and he would always be his son Ricky’s #1 fan.
Jim courted his beloved wife, Dorothy after retrieving her lost barrette at the former Sandy Beach in Madison, and the two spent 43 years in love. From barrette to soul mate, James was an ever-devoted husband to his stunning wife and would wade into any sized waves to do it again.
Visiting hours will be held on Friday October 16, 2020 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Smart & Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan, Maine. Anyone wishing to virtually attend the funeral service may do so via the Albion Christian Church website - https://albionchristianchurch.com/ , there will be a link located there to go to the live Facebook link starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday October 17, 2020.
Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Smart & Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan, Maine. Anyone who wishes to leave the family messages can do so on our website at – www.smartandedwardsfh.com
In lieu of flowers, the Small family will be encouraging anyone who wishes to donate to a scholarship for all manner of creative pursuits and the arts in Mr. Small’s name.

James (Mr. Small to many) would want us all to move forward with pride and confidence, while reminding us to also Imagine Again, and Imagine More.

Learn more about the Small name

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