Richard (Dick) Reinhold Small
June 22, 1937 ~ June 30, 2018
Richard (Dick) Reinhold Small was born June 22, 1937, in Oakland, California, and passed away unexpectedly at his Reno, Nevada home on June 30, 2018. He was preceded in death by his parents Robert and Elfrieda Small, and his brothers Robert and William Small. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, his daughter Laura Small and her husband Brain Bartlett, his daughter Marti Waters and her husband David Waters and his grandsons Marcus and Robert Waters. Also surviving are cousins Edrie Felts, Sigrid Pieretti, Melvin Schwake, Fred Schwake, Keith Berryman, James Berryman and numerous grand and great grand cousins.
Dick enrolled at the College of Pacific in Stockton, California in the fall of 1955 with a major in Public School Music, and was recognized by both faculty and fellow students as an outstanding musician. He married Barbara Mitchell in 1957 and graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Music degree and a Special Secondary Teaching Credential. Dick’s naturally friendly disposition earned him a lot of good friends while at COP, and he kept contact with many of them over the years.
Beginning in 1961, he and Barbara, an excellent teacher herself, began building the music program at Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. He quickly distinguished himself as one of the best band directors in the State with his award winning symphonic and jazz bands, receiving the highest marks available at the Golden State Music Festivals.
In the 1980s, Dick and Barbara moved to Fair Oaks, California, where Dick brought his teaching talent to the Camerado Springs Middle School in Cameron Park, California. His love of music and compassion for his students are why he remains a favorite teacher of so many, and this passion for music lives on in his former students, in their children and grandchildren.
When not teaching, Dick loved fishing the Truckee River and chukar hunting in Nevada, and he was famous for pulling practical jokes. Many of Dick’s friends and family have fond, funny memories of his hilarious antics.
Dick retired from teaching in 1995 and he and Barbara moved to Nevada. Many of Dick’s music students still kept in touch with him, always commenting on how much he taught them, and meant to them. Many of them have gone on to pursue careers in music as instructors and professional musicians. As many of his family and friends will remember, just sitting with Dick while listening to a great band or orchestra was to witness a transcendent joy in the beauty and hilarity of music.
A Celebration of Dick’s Life will be held in September 15th, 2018. Please contact Marti Waters or Laura Small for details.
May God bless you, my wonderful husband and our great father. We will always remember you in our hearts. Catch a big one!