Roberta Faye “Cookie” Small


6-8 p.m.
Gerth Funeral Home


First Christian Church

{Sept. 11, 1935 - April 20, 2017}

Roberta Faye “Cookie” (Buford) Small, 81, of Memphis died Thursday, April 20, 2017 at Blessing Hospital in Quincy.

She was born near Downing on September 11, 1935 to Roy Russell and Margaret Kathleen Blessing Buford.  She lost her mother at the age of 2 months and was raised by her aunt, Cleo Zaerr, until she was 6 years old and returned to her father’s home. Roberta never forgot the love she and Cleo shared and they continued to spend time together.   She returned the care she had received as a child as Cleo grew older and needed care herself.

Roberta married Vancel Dean Small on June 23, 1951, and to this union 10 children were born, including a still-born daughter.

She was an excellent housewife and mother — a hard worker who was known for her excellent cooking, sewing, and gardening skills.  She enjoyed crocheting, bird watching, her rock garden, and old-time country music. Roberta was a member of the Memphis First Christian Church and looked forward to receiving communion in her home on Sundays. Most of all she loved and enjoyed her children and grand-children, looking forward to each new birth. She kept a calendar of their birthdays and proudly wished them all a happy birthday on KMEM radio.

She was preceded in death by her mother and father; her stillborn daughter; a grandson, Jody Joe Small II; great grandson, Andrew Kyle Small; great grand-daughter Karlee Norman; son-in-law Joe Holdren; her brother Don Buford, and a half-brother, Charles Buford.

She is survived by nine children.  Randy and Connie Small of Bloomfield Iowa, Jesse and Vicky Small of Arbela, Dale and Dixie Small of Alexandria, Leanna Holdren of Baring, Jody Small and Lisa Preece of Memphis, Buffy and Patrick Bell of Memphis, Bobby and Shelley Small of Memphis, Angel and Kerry Arnold of Memphis, and John and Tonya Small of Memphis. She is also survived by 42 grand-children and 48 great grand- children, her sister Juanita Buford Cox of Fort Worth Texas, and her half- brother Danny Buford of Downing MO, as well as a host of nieces and nephews.

A memorial visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m., Monday, April 24 at the Gerth Funeral Home in Memphis.

Memorials are suggested to the Memphis First Christian Church.

Share Button


  1. Condolences to your family.

    Comment by Harry & Mary Ransford on April 21, 2017 at 2:30 pm
  2. Im sorry i love you all!

    Comment by Tracy Thiher on April 21, 2017 at 7:18 pm
  3. Thinking of your family. Prayers.

    Comment by Lory Chaplin on April 22, 2017 at 11:03 am
  4. Deepest sympathy to the her family.

    Comment by Vicki dodge Dodge on April 22, 2017 at 11:17 am
  5. Prayers for the family.
    Cookie was a 1 in a million. Honored to call her my friend.

    Comment by Sherri gillum on April 22, 2017 at 4:26 pm
  6. So very sorry for all the family’s loss.

    Comment by Shawn and Jan Stockwell and girls. on April 22, 2017 at 4:31 pm
  7. We send our deepest thoughts and prayers for your family at this time.

    Comment by April, Weston, and Brad Lewis on April 22, 2017 at 8:54 pm
  8. We send our deepest thoughts and prayers for your family at this time

    Comment by April, Weston, and Brad Lewis on April 22, 2017 at 8:55 pm
  9. Our thoughts and prayers to all the family at this difficult time. Treasure your memories with your loved one. May you find comfort in the Lord.

    Comment by Kevin and Jeanette Fogle on April 22, 2017 at 9:19 pm
  10. So sorry for your loss. Roberta was a great lady!

    Comment by Tim and Sheree Zaerr on April 26, 2017 at 3:31 pm

By submitting a message you grant Gerth Funeral Service, Inc. a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate and irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin’s discretion. Your email is used for verification purposes only, it will never be shared.