Laverne Smalls, 63, ‘hero’ who saved children from a burning building is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

Laverne Smalls
Laverne Smalls

Laverne Smalls died June 6, 2015, at the age of 63.

He was born on Sept. 14, 1951, son of the late John and Lillian Smalls, in Philadelphia. He was baptized and joined Zion Baptist Church, Philadelphia.

Laverne was very active in the Philadelphia community, playing baseball, basketball and football and playing trumpet with the community band. Later in life he joined an elite marching band called the Musketeers Marching Band. They marched and played everywhere, from the Eagle’s games to marching in street parades. Vern’s favorite pastime was playing chess.

In his youth, he attended Our Lady of Holy Souls Catholic School. He also attended Simon Gratz High School where he pursued a trade in carpentry.

Laverne and Vernice Smalls moved their family to Williamsburg where he worked at Helig and Myers and eventually retired from the College of William & Mary. He loved working with the students and talking football with the players at the college.

Laverne received an award and certificate for saving some children from a burning building. He was our hero. He had a great sense of humor and would put a smile on every ones face with his high spirit and compassion. He will be loved and greatly missed by all.

Laverne was also preceded in death by his brothers, Samuel Ray Smalls and Selwyn Smalls and his brothers-in-law, Abdul Hunter (best friend) and George Richardson.

He leaves to cherish his precious memories his wife, Michelle Smalls; brothers, Wilbert Smalls (Elaine), Gilbert Smalls (Naomi), Antonio Smalls (Gail) and Del Smalls (Edith); sisters, Gwendolyn Richardson and Wendy Muse (Thomas); his former wife, Vernice Smalls; sons, Vernon C. Rivers, Kevin Sanders and Antonio Smalls; daughters, Keeya Skeet and Monique Harding; 19 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and other loving relatives and many caring friends.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Whiting’s Funeral Home.

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