Donald Allen Small (also known as Smalls, Big Don Small, Donny Ballgame, Don Remote, Mr. Don) entered the gates of heaven and began dancing with Jesus on Feb. 15, 2023.
Don succumbed to acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by COVID-19. He was 100% mentally sharp (and a wise butt) until the end.
He was blessed to be able to make all his own medical decisions throughout his illness.
Don is survived by: his wife, Kristy Yahola-Small; daughters, Mistie Palmer (Audley), Rachael Gillespie (Craig); grandsons, Riley, Micah, Jackson; siblings, David Small, Donna-Sue Brown, Daniel Brown; nephew, William; and nieces, Katy and Cera.
He is predeceased by his parents, George Small and Josephine Brown (Foti).
Don was born on March 6, 1954, in New Haven, Connecticut.
He was a 1972 graduate of Hamden (Connecticut) High School, where he was a starting catcher on the varsity baseball team.
He then served proudly as a sonar technician in the U.S. Navy.
Don was a connoisseur of all things music and was especially proud of his time with the New Haven band Forced Entry as lead singer, harmonica player and drummer.
Most of Don’s life was spent in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he was a plumbing foreman before a back injury ended his career.
His second career was as a food service manager in several organizations, the most extensive being several locations of Jon Smith Subs.
His Florida residence did not change his love of the New York Yankees and the New York Giants.
Don moved to Tennessee to marry his bride, Kristy, in 2018. His years in Tennessee could be thought of as his best. With the support of his wife, he was able to live the life he always wanted and to be the man God created him to be.
Don was an active member of Joy Church in Mt Juliet. He served on the Cooking with Joy ministry and attended World Changers Bible Institute. Many souls will live forever in the kingdom of Heaven because of Don’s willingness to let God use him to lead others to Jesus. His last words were, “The joy of God is my strength.”
Arrangements were in the care of Compassion Funeral and Cremation Services of Nashville.
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