Obituaries

Shirley Keyes
B: 1935-03-10
D: 2018-06-15
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Keyes, Shirley
Joe Pientka
B: 1925-02-07
D: 2018-06-14
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Pientka, Joe
Lonnie Taylor
B: 1952-08-02
D: 2018-06-12
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Taylor, Lonnie
Daniel Propst
B: 1924-07-25
D: 2018-06-12
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Propst, Daniel
Delilah Vaughan
B: 1944-04-13
D: 2018-06-10
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Vaughan, Delilah
Elva Bryant
B: 1928-01-10
D: 2018-06-09
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Bryant, Elva
James Carpenter
B: 1923-09-25
D: 2018-06-09
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Carpenter, James
Miriam Hatchett
B: 1937-08-23
D: 2018-06-07
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Hatchett, Miriam
Katrina Cardwell
B: 1968-03-23
D: 2018-06-03
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Cardwell, Katrina
Winifred Heckel
B: 1931-03-31
D: 2018-05-31
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Heckel, Winifred
Annabel Smith
B: 1930-04-10
D: 2018-05-30
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Smith, Annabel
Helen Arnold
B: 1921-11-21
D: 2018-05-28
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Arnold, Helen
Charlotte Engels
B: 1933-03-28
D: 2018-05-26
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Engels, Charlotte
Karen Wellington
B: 1974-10-19
D: 2018-05-26
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Wellington, Karen
Irene Barnes
B: 1924-01-21
D: 2018-05-25
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Barnes, Irene
Nancy Park
B: 1945-02-04
D: 2018-05-25
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Park, Nancy
Lorraine Swinarski
B: 1930-07-28
D: 2018-05-24
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Swinarski, Lorraine
James Vairo
B: 1926-01-03
D: 2018-05-23
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Vairo, James
Frederick Moore
B: 1930-02-15
D: 2018-05-23
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Moore, Frederick
Laura McKelvey
B: 1950-12-15
D: 2018-05-21
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McKelvey, Laura
Boyd "Al" Webb
B: 1959-01-28
D: 2018-05-20
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Webb, Boyd "Al"

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2033 Boulevard
Colonial Heights, VA 23834
Phone: 804-526-3400
Fax: 804-526-3436

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E. Alvin Small Funeral Home and Crematory has experienced professionals who understand that each family is unique and has personal requests and traditions. These requests and traditions are of utmost importance to our team of caring individuals.


Bryan D. Small, President of the Firm / Licensed Funeral Director
Email: bryan@ealvinsmall.com

Bryan is president of the firm and is a licensed funeral director. A lifetime resident of Colonial Heights, he is married to Nancy Belcher Small and is the son of Ralph and Ruth Small. He is a graduate of Colonial Heights High School, Richard Bland College and Virginia Commonwealth University. He completed his mortuary education at John Tyler Community College after joining the firm full time in 1983, later to become president in 1990. He is a member of Colonial Heights Baptist Church, a past president of the Colonial Heights Lions Club and a past president of the Colonial Heights Chamber of Commerce.

Louis C. Smith, Vice-President of the Firm / Licensed Funeral Director
Email: lou@ealvinsmall.com

Lou is a resident of Petersburg. He was born and raised in Roanoke, the son of Marion and Paul Smith. He graduated from John Tyler Community College in December of 1982, with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service, and became a Licensed Funeral Director in November of 1983. He is married to Sherrie Thornburg Smith, and has one son, Justin Charles Smith.

Herbert S. Small, Vice-President Emeritus of the Firm / Licensed Funeral Director

Herbert S. Small is a native and lifelong resident of Colonial Heights. He was born to the late Edward A and Dora Witt Small, and was educated in the Colonial Heights and Petersburg schools and later graduated from the Eckols Mortuary College in Philadelphia. Herbert is married to Arline Holt Small (Matoaca) and has two daughters, Susan Small Belcher, and Nancy Small Barnes both of Colonial Heights, three grandchildren, a brother Ralph L. Small. He entered funeral service in 1956 with his brother Alvin and became Vice President of the firm until his retirement in 1990 when nephews Bryan D. Small and Louis C. Smith became owners. Herbert was appointed by the late Governor Mills Godwin to the State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers, his term ending in 1984 as President, and served on the Virginia Board of Funeral Directors for many years. He was recognized for 50 years of service in  the funeral industry in 2012 by the Virginia Funeral Directors Association. Herbert is a 50 year member of Blandford Masonic Lodge #3, the Colonial Heights American Legion Post #284, member and Past President of the Kiwanis Club of Colonial Heights, a member of the VFW Post #2239, and a founder and member of Colonial Christian Church (DOC) serving as Elder, Teacher and Financial Chairman. He is an avid golfer and is still very active in Funeral Services.

John E. Alban, Director of Operations / Licensed Funeral Director / Pre-Need Counselor
Email: john.a@ealvinsmall.com

John is a Yankee transplant, having relocated to Colonial Heights from Long Island, New York in October of 1993 to work for E. Alvin Small Funeral Home. John is a 1981 graduate of the State University of New York at Farmingdale with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Mortuary Science, and became a licensed funeral director in 1982. John was born in Aarau, Switzerland and was adopted from Italy when he was four years old. He was recently reunited with his birth mother who has been searching for her "bambino" for over fifty years. John is now attempting to learn and speak Italian as his Mamma Scoletta speaks no English. John has been married to his wife Jaci for thirty years and they have three sons together; John James Alban, Sgt. James Robert Alban and Joseph Thomas Alban; as well as a grandson, Christopher Ryan Alban. John is an active member of St. Ann Catholic Church and he relaxes by spending time with his friends and family, working around his home and taking road trips about Virginia.

John E. Piotrowski, Crater Road Chapel Manager / Licensed Funeral Director / Pre-Need Counselor
Email: john.p@ealvinsmall.com

John is a lifetime resident of Colonial Heights, he is the son of Paul and Dianne Piotrowski. John started as a part-time associate while in high school in December of 1998. He graduated from John Tyler Community College with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service, and became a Licensed Funeral Director in March of 2006. He is a member of the Colonial Heights City Council. John is married to Margie Anne Piotrowski.  John and Margie are the owners and operators of Discovery World Day Care Center in Colonial Heights.  They have two daughters, Sara Elizabeth, and Katherine Anne Piotrowski. John and his family are active members at Second Chance Baptist Church in Petersburg, Virginia.

Nick Kinsley, Licensed Funeral Director / Pre-Need Counselor
Email: nick@ealvinsmall.com

Nick currently resides in Chesterfield, with his sweet pug, Dora. He was part of the 100th graduating class of Thomas Dale in 2008 and is also a proud alumnus of Enon Elementary. After living in Radford for a few years, Nick moved back to the area and attended John Tyler Community College, where he graduated with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service in 2014, and became a Licensed Funeral Director in September of 2015. Nick is a passionate Denver Broncos football fan, sporting orange and blue every game day (Go Broncos).

Josh Madison, Licensed Funeral Director / Pre-Need Counselor
Email: josh@ealvinsmall.com

Josh currently resides in Chesterfield with his wife Erin, two dogs Lita and Ziggy, and cat Coco.  He is originally from Amherst County, VA.  Josh graduated from Virginia Tech in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations.  After graduating he moved to Richmond and began his pursuit to become a funeral director.  He attended John Tyler Community College, where he received his Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service in 2014, and became a Licensed Funeral Director in February of 2015.  Josh enjoys Virginia Tech athletics and the Washington Redskins.  He is a member of Washington and Henry Masonic Lodge #344.

Taylor R. Gecking, Licensed Funeral Director
Email: taylor@ealvinsmall.com

Taylor currently resides in Richmond with her husband, Adam, and a number of rescue pugs and cats. She graduated John Tyler Community College with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service in 2017 and became a Licensed Funeral Director shortly thereafter. Taylor enjoys spending time with her family and working with her husband to rescue feral cats in their neighborhood.

Ellen Z. Constantine, Licensed Funeral Director
Email: ellen@ealvinsmall.com

Ellen is a resident of Dinwiddie County, and enjoys living the country life with her husband, Jeff.   She graduated from John Tyler Community College with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service and became a Licensed Funeral Director in November of 2007.  Ellen has two awesome daughters, Rebekah P. Crosby (Steven) and Rachel L. Primm; and two adorable, sweet grandsons, Carson and Wesley Crosby.  

Buddy Mayes, Licensed Funeral Director / Crematory Manager
Email: buddy.m@ealvinsmall.com

Buddy resides in Prince George County with his wife, Debbie and their numerous spoiled pets.  Buddy came out of retirement to join the firm as a part-time associate in March of 2010 and soon decided to begin a second career.  In May of 2013, Buddy graduated from John Tyler Community College with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service, and became a Licensed Funeral Director in June of 2013.  Buddy is an appointed member of the John Tyler Community College Funeral Services Advisory Council. He and his wife are members of Oakland Baptist Church in Prince George.

Cheryl S. Whitlock, Office Manager / Bookkeeper
Email: cheryl@ealvinsmall.com

Cheryl is a resident of Colonial Heights and a member of Colonial Heights Baptist Church. She is a graduate of Colonial Heights High School and attended John Tyler Community College. Cheryl began as the company's first full time secretary in 1976, working for Alvin and Herbert Small. After leaving to pursue a career in motherhood, she returned in May of 1999 as Office Manager. Cheryl is married to Paul Whitlock, and enjoys time with her family, friends and outdoor activities.

Anne Gill, Colonial Heights Chapel Administrative Assistant
Email: anne@ealvinsmall.com

Nancy Bresko, Crater Road Chapel Administrative Assistant

Wesley Pitts, Funeral Service Intern

Robert McKinley, Funeral Service Intern

Martha Newton, Funeral Assistant

J. Preston Wicks, Funeral Assistant

George Pond, Funeral Assistant

Richard Dell, Funeral Assistant

Ed Rivers, Funeral Assistant

Clifton Smith , Funeral Assistant

James Andrews, Funeral Assistant

Gary Eichler, Organist

Donald J. Fortmuller, Retired / Licensed Funeral Director

Donald J. Fortmuller has been a member of the E. Alvin Small Funeral Home and Crematory family as a licensed Funeral Director since June of 1999. Donald was born and raised in Staten Island, New York. He enlisted as an Airman in the U.S. Navy in 1973, and retired as a Lieutenant (Limited Duty Officer) in 1993. He then served his apprenticeship for funeral service while attending John Tyler Community College and became a licensed Funeral Director with the former Purviance Funeral Home in Wakefield & Boykins, Virginia. He married a Colonial Heights native, Beverly K. Simmons Fortmuller (CHHS '73), and lives in Prince George County. They have four children, Amy Franchock (Timothy), Thomas Fortmuller (Jessica), and twin daughters, Catherin David (Chris), and Christen Fortmuller; four grandchildren, Stacey, Ty, Lily and Luke. Donald is an active a member of the Prince George Christian Church, and a member of the Colonial Heights American Legion Post #284.

James Russell, Retired / Licensed Funeral Director / Pre-Need Counselor

Jim is a lifetime resident of Colonial Heights and member of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.  He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration, an Associates Degree in Business Admin and in 1996 a John Tyler Associates Degree in Mortuary Science.  He is retired from IBM where he worked as Account Executive in Marketing and Sales for 26 years.  He is a license insurance agent and a license funeral director at E. Alvin Small Funeral Home.  He has been married for 43 years to Judy Russell who is retired from Civil Service.