Franklin Countys First News

Joan Small (1944-2018)

Joan Small

FARMINGTON - Joan Small, beloved Wife, Mother, and Memere, passed away Oct. 3, 2018 at Franklin Memorial hospital.

Born Joan Elizabeth Ulmer on Sept 24, 1944, to William Henry Ulmer, and Doris (Willow) Ulmer. Joan grew up in Denver, attended Lincoln High School and Colorado University (now the University of Colorado at Boulder) where she majored in French and spent her junior year abroad in Bordeaux, France.

She met Ronald Small, and after her return from France they married. Joan had a son, Jonathan and a daughter Stephanie. While living in Colorado they were involved in sled dog racing. She was elected secretary of the International Sled Dog Racing Association, while her husband ran dogs and was a Director at Large for the organization.

The family moved to Maine and settled in Farmington in 1979. Joan worked at Farmington Public Library, and then twenty years as a reference librarian at Mantor Library, UMF, she finished her BA at UMF while assisting countless students with their reference questions.

Joan’s lifelong love of animals, especially dogs, led to the Smalls rescuing and rehoming Belgian Shepherds. For many years she could be seen every summer Monday night at Meeting House Park with one or more Belgians, while her husband played tuba with the Old Crow Band.

Joan died peacefully with her, husband, son, and daughter in attendance, after a long struggle with COPD. She is survived by her Husband Ron, son Jonathan, daughter Stephanie Small Marcotte, son-in-law Thomas Marcotte, grandson Benjamen Thomas Marcotte, and granddaughter Quintessa Rose Marcotte. Her love of family informed her life and enriched theirs.

A memorial visitation will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday Oct. 7, 2018 at Wiles Remembrance Center: Adams-McFarlane Chapel 137 Farmington Falls Rd. Farmington. She requested donations In lieu of flowers be made to the Franklin County Animal Shelter 550 Industry Road, Farmington, ME 04938.

Friends are welcome to leave a kind word on her memorial wall at

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

5 Responses »

  1. Stephanie, I am so sorry for the loss of you mother.

  2. Joan was a very kind, caring person and will be missed by those who had the good fortune of knowing her. Our sincere condolences to the family. Bob and Linda

  3. Joan was always kind to me and was an excellent mother-in-law to my stepson, having played a great role in the raising of his and Stephanie's children, Ben and Tessa. My deepest sympathies to all the family.

  4. Ron and family--I met Joan through Ron via his voracious appetite for cordial cherries at my chocolate shop years ago. She introduced a couple of the grandchildren to sweet treats there, too. Always had a smile and kind word to share when seeing her around town over the years. Loving thoughts coming to all the family.

  5. I want to give my condolences to Jon and his family. I am so sorry.