Food Culinary 08

Mike Small

March 11, 1937 ~ January 5, 2024 (age 86) 86 Years Old

Mike Small Obituary

Mike Small, age 86, of Charleston, Illinois (formerly of San Fransico, California), died after a brief illness January 5, 2024, at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.  He was born in Omaha, Nebraska, the son of Kermit and Nora (Dugdale) Small.

Mike was a 1955 graduate of Evanston High School in Evanston, Illinois. He attended the University of Illinois at Champaign before he joined the United States Navy.  Mike served in the Navy from 1955 to 1957, and in the Naval Reserves from 1957-1961. Mike worked as a sous chef in high-end restaurants from San Francisco to Cape Cod over the course of several decades.

Mike was an avid reader of military history. He enjoyed playing rugby, loved to ski, and loved dogs. Mike was also a talented photographer, a skill he honed in the Navy. He had an artist’s eye for color and balance, and was a trenchant observer of people and places.

Survivors include his sisters, Susan Ruder of Highland Park, Illinois, Jennifer Gordon (Louis) of Highland Park, Illinois, and Nora Pat Small (Rick Riccio) of Lerna, Illinois; nieces, Liz Frankel (Charlie Steinhorn) of New York, Bex Wilkinson of Idaho, Kat Gordon (Jack) of Minnesota, Pat Gordon (Adam Vartanian) of London, England, and Emily Riccio (Michael Robbins) of Missouri; nephew, Nicholas Riccio (Elizabeth) of Illinois; and several great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Kermit and Nora, and by his brother-in-law, David Ruder.    

A Memorial Service will be held at a later date.

To view the obituary, send a condolence message, light a candle or post photos, please visit  Adams Funeral Chapel of Charleston, IL is in charge of the arrangements.

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