Digest>Archives> March 2005

Tributes to Connie Small


We received many tributes to Connie Small, more than we can ever print. However, we have shared a few of them with you.

“Lady of Light”

Her thoughts – poetic beauty spoke to me of days gone by,

Her life a “lighthouse” in itself

For us to somehow steer by...

Getting to know this one true gem

through stories told by coal-burned fire,

How sad to see that light go out,

Of which I’d never tire,

So, Connie as you leave this earth

Move on towards distant shore,

Remember, we know your love of life

The history of your lore,

You inspired me, this little one

To lift my lamp on high,

Though not a lighthouse keeper’s wife,

I know that I will try...

To tell the lighthouse tales we know

And share our own adventures,

In all events and places we go,

As members and activators!

So, Connie...as you cross that bar,

And look back towards the shore,

Know that you’ve left a legacy of light,

We hope to treasure it more!

By Patricia (Patty) Martin, W5AZO, member of the Amateur Radio Light-house Society. http://www.arlhs.com


By Elaine Peverly in honor of Connie’s 103rd Birthday, June 4, 2004

For one hundred years -

And three more for good measure

Connie Small has brought her smile

To those around for many miles.

She takes what comes every day,

And has a smile, come what may.

For many years she helped to light

That lighthouse ray that shone so bright.

And now she brings that ray so bright

To those whose lives have touched

her sight.

And though she cannot move so fast,

Her constant smile will always last.

So much she’s seen all through the years,

So much she’s done to calm our fears.

Always she’s brought love and light,

So we will always know the might

Of a love which always gives

A constant light – the way she lives.

And so on this, her special day,

We all join in, each one to say


We bring our love to you.

You are our special ray.

And so we bring to you today -

Our Love.


The “shoreline” of the lighthouse community may be dimmer this week with the sad news of Connie’s passing, but thanks to lasting contributions of the “First Lady of Light,” America’s lighthouse heritage will shine brightly for present and future generations to come. Her legacy will be that she not only lived the lighthouse life but shared it in so many enriching ways with countless others so that they too could learn why our lighthouses and their preservation is so vital to our country. I wish I could have enjoyed the privilege of meeting Connie -- for I am certain I would have found her to be a complete joy to be around, but that can’t happen now. That being said, I will continue to “know” her through people like you who share her life and memories with the lighthouse community.

- Bob Trapani, Jr.

Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse


Connie was a remarkable lady who had a great sense of humor and a sharp mind at the age of 103. She was also a great storyteller. One of my favorites was when in her late 80s she was climbing the steep quarter mile trail to the top of Seguin Island. Connie stopped at a natural vista about 2/3rds the way up and said, “Isn’t this a great view!” Later in privacy, she said that she was tired but didn’t want anyone to know and thought that looking at the view was a great excuse for a rest. I’ve used Connie’s excuse on many of my walks up the trail to the top.

My inscription in Connie’s book, “The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife” reads,

“May your sunrises bring you

hope and inspiration,

The sunsets the comfort

As a day Well Spent”

Best wishes and love,

Connie Small.

All who knew her believed she would live forever, but her peaceful passing was inevitable.

-Anne Webster Wallace

Friends of Seguin Island


America’s lighthouses burn less brightly. Tybee Island Light Station will fly our flags at half staff on Friday to honor and acknowledge in a small way not only the passing of this remarkable individual but the passing of an era in lighthouse history. Our prayers go out to her family and friends.

-Cullen Chambers

Tybee Island Lighthouse


This story appeared in the March 2005 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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