Edna Marie (Samuels) Small, age 87, passed away peacefully on September 5, 2021, at Mount Ayr Health Care Center with family by her side. She was born May 25, 1934, in Muscatine, Iowa, the first child of Carl and Minnie (Cary) Samuels.
Edna grew up on the family farm with her parents and brother, Burton, in Louisa County, Iowa. She helped raise livestock, planted and harvested crops, grew a large garden, and learned her love of cooking and baking at a young age. She loved farm life. She was the only girl at her country school and then graduated from Wapello High School in 1951. In high school she enjoyed 4H and played basketball and softball. She married Donald “Don” Small on January 27, 1952, and they had four children: Carol Ann, who died at birth; Sandra Kay, Steven Vern, and Melinda Lee.
The family moved from Wapello, Iowa, to live in Loveland, Colorado for a short time and eventually landed in Mount Ayr, Iowa. They farmed near Mt. Ayr for several years and then opened Small Corral Restaurant and Lounge on the square in Mount Ayr in 1980, providing delicious meals to friends in the community for nearly 20 years. The restaurant was famous for prime rib and steaks, winning second place in a statewide Iowa Beef Council promotion. Edna sold the restaurant after her husband, Don, passed away and worked at the local grocery store, CGI Foods, for nearly 8 years before retiring.
Edna loved playing golf, cribbage and most any card game. Over the years, she was a member of 3 different Bridge Clubs. Her favorite card game to play at family gatherings was Pinochle, a family tradition passed down through several generations!
Edna was a member of the United Methodist Church of Mount Ayr, United Methodist Women, P.E.O Chapter CK, Mount Ayr Chamber of Commerce and was a 50+ year member of the Order of Eastern Star. She was the secretary of the Mount Ayr chapter of Eastern Star for 10 years.
Edna was proud of her family. She was preceded in death by her parents Carl and Minnie Samuels and her husband Donald Small. She is survived by her brother Burton (Jackie) Samuels, 3 children, 6 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Sandra (Andy) Thomas and daughter Andrea (Brandon) Goff and step grandchildren Jennifer, Tanner and Emily and their families. Steve (Teresa) Small and children Tara (Jeremy) Smith, Grant (Rebecca) Small, Shannon (Tom) Stendel and grandchildren Kayla Smith, Karch Smith, Lillian Small, Alaina Small, Garrett Small, Madeline Stendel, and Hailey Stendel. Melinda (Mitch) England and children Ryan (Sierra) England and Brett (Samantha) England and grandchildren Tucker England, Sawyer England, Rex England and Opal England. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews and other family members.
Visitation will be from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Wednesday, September 8 at Armstrong Funeral home in Mt. Ayr. Funeral services at United Methodist Church on Thursday, September 9 at 1:30 pm. Graveside burial service in Wapello, Iowa on Friday, September 10 at 1:00 pm.
Memorial contributions to honor Edna can be given to the United Methodist Church in Mt. Ayr, the Order of Eastern Star in Mt. Ayr, or the Mt. Ayr Public Library.
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