SMITHFIELD — Deacon William A. Small Sr., 86, a deacon retired from active ministry who served at St. Michael Church, Smithfield, died April 21 at the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center, Providence. He was the husband of Bernadette V. (Dutille) Small, whom he married in 1947.
Born in Westbrook, ME, he was the son of the late William and Harriet (Temple) Small. He was a resident of Smithfield since 1977.
Deacon Small was an associate dean of graduate studies at Rhode Island College for 19 years, retiring in 1986. He was a professor of elementary education and the director of summer sessions.
He was ordained to the diaconate on June 6, 1982, and as part of his ministry, he worked with mentally-challenged individuals.
He received a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT, a master’s degree in education from the University of Maine, Orono, ME and a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. He was also a published author of children’s literature.
In addition to his wife, Deacon Small is survived by three sons, Leo C. Small of Uxbridge, MA, William A. Small of Johnston, and John D. Small of Concord, MA
Deacon Small served in the U.S. Army during World War II.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated April 23 in St. Michael Church. Burial was in Resurrection Cemetery, Cumberland.