Irmelle Lida Small

September 12, 1920February 10, 2019

On Sunday, February 10, 2019, Irmelle L. Small, "Mémé" , loving mother and grandmother, age 98, passed away at Maplewood Park Place, Bethesda, Maryland, where she resided since 2015.

Born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1920, Irmelle received her Bachelor of Arts, Diplome de Lettres in Poitiers, France, her Master of Science Degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Geneva, and earned her Doctorate of Natural Science Degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in Zurich, Switzerland. She immigrated to the United States in 1949, and received her US citizenship soon after. She was proud to be an American. As a department head, research and development, for Wallerstein Co., NY, she oversaw development of enzymes and antibiotics. She was a Cancer Research Associate at Mt. Sinai Hospital, NY, and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She married the love of her life, Louis Small, in 1951, and redirected her passion to make the world a better place through dedication to her family and her community. Irmelle was the driving force behind one of the earliest recycling operations on the East Coast, K.E.E.P., in New Jersey, and an advocate for pollution control and responsible waste disposal throughout her life. An avid art lover, she served for 40 years as a docent at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C. Irmelle participated in many organizations, including the AAUW, League of Women Voters, Women’s Committee for the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Springfield Garden Club of Montgomery County. Her hobbies included hiking, contemporary art, opera, gardening, and cooking. She proudly adopted Maryland as home, and learned to excel in making Maryland crab cakes.

Irmelle is survived by her daughter, Elisabeth Small, her granddaughter, Alee Bloom, her nephew, Ken LaKind, and her son-in-law, Carl Marsh. She was preceded in death by her devoted husband, Louis M. Small, and her beloved granddaughter, Jessica Irmelle Bloom. In lieu of flowers, her family asks that memorial donations be made to the Jessica Bloom Scholarship Fund, Hume-Fogg Academic High School, attn: Susan Barnett, 700 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203


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Irmelle Lida Small

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