Laura Aileen Small
SALISBURY — With great sadness, the family of Laura Aileen Small, shares that she passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on the 15th of July, at age 33.
Daughter of Joseph Small and Leigh Anne Dodge, sister to Hannah Small and Maggie Small-Ferguson, Laura was born in graduate student housing at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. She moved to the Eastern Shore of Maryland with her family while still in diapers and lived on the Shore for most of the rest of her life.
Laura lived with great empathy for others and from an early age showed a sensitivity and sensibility toward those who stepped to a different drummer; this strength influenced many of her decisions in life. She determined at an early age that her passion was to work with young children, she especially liked two year olds. Laura touched the lives of many young children and their parents in different early childhood centers in the area as she considered life's options after high school. She graduated with honors from UMES in 2016 and moved to Baltimore to begin as the director of the Early Head Start Preschool at the 33rd St. Weinberg Y. This ended in four months when Laura was diagnosed with a brain stem glioma.
For the last two and a half years Laura learned the lessons of brain surgeries and radiation. With a loving family, including step-mother Carole Small, step-dad Robert Wieland, step-sisters Chloe Wieland and Julie Hines, step-brothers Jeff Wieland and Jon Quimby, a beloved and faithful dog, Silas, and with a little help from her friends, Laura continued planning for life. At the end of her life she was living in Salisbury, Maryland, after completing her first semester of graduate school.
Laura found comfort in the creative process for all of her life, from writing to painting to planning elaborate Halloween costumes for many years with her friend, Tom Pisciotta. She delighted in watching her young niece, Emelia, as she passed through early childhood. Laura loved the Great Out Doors and occasionally worshipped with Third Haven Friends in Easton. She liked to listen to Johnny Cash's version of "I Won't Back Down" for courage and inspiration.
Laura is predeceased by her father, Joe Small, and her step-brother, Matt Wieland. She will be greatly missed.