Sussanne Nell Denham Small, RN

Sussanne Nell Denham Small, RN, 76, passed away comfortably in her sleep with her family looking after her on January 24, 2024.  A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00pm, February 17, 2024 at Maywood Baptist Church in Independence, Missouri.

Sussanne was born August 17, 1947 to Raymond Denham and Nancy Lee Harris. She lived most of her life in Independence, Missouri.  She graduated from William Chrisman High School in 1967.  She then went on to graduate from Independence Sanitorium and Nursing School as a Registered Nurse in 1971.  She was proud of her work throughout her career caring for very sick children in their homes.

Sussanne married Russell Small in 1971.  Together they raised their sons, Josh and Luke. This was a source of great joy and pride for Sussanne.  She said “Mom” was her favorite word.  She was a loving and steadfast mother, well-loved in return.

Sussanne enjoyed horses, camping, praying and preaching.  She loved teasing, laughing and arguing.  Some of her favorite things included chocolate, children, her Bible, leopard prints, bacon and peanut brittle.  She was crazy about Luke’s lattes and Josh’s irreverence.  She dearly loved her family and friends.  She was a generous person who put the needs of others ahead of her own.

Later in her life, Sussanne moved to Bella Vista, Arkansas.  She loved Arkansas and the new friends she made there.  She wrote an Epic Tale of her life and faith called “Three Angels and the War Horse.”

Her faith in Jesus Christ was the cornerstone of Sussanne’s life.  After years of struggling with health issues, she is now out of pain and with the Lord.  She looked forward to this time for many years.  She would want us to celebrate her new journey and be happy that she is finally home.  Sussanne asked her sons to thank all of her friends and family for their love and support.

Survivors include her loving sons Joshua Small (Christie) and Luke Small; and her brothers Ted Tomblinson and Jack Tomblinson.  She leaves her former husband Russ Small (Jean); brother in law Brian Small; niece Jane Tullis; nephew Jared Small (Kendra) and many loving friends.


  1. Karen Hayes on February 7, 2024 at 5:49 pm

    She was my best friend of 28 years. I even bought a townhome right next to her so we can be close to each other. She loved her family dearly and specially her sons, she never met a stranger again. she will be missed..

  2. Sandi Kendrick on February 10, 2024 at 12:42 pm

    I am so sad to learn of Sussanne’s passing. She was such a lovely person. I met her in 7th grade and went through high school with her. She loved the Lord and I applaud her for her belief. She enjoyed visiting with her friends. I will remember her fondly. Prayers for her family and everyone who knew her.

  3. Georgia Cerra on February 13, 2024 at 12:43 pm

    What a beautiful, loving and kind person who loved the Lord Jesus Christ. She is so happy now in HIS presence. I lost a dear friend but heaven gained.
    You will be missed Sussanne by me and so many.

  4. Bennie Eubanks on February 14, 2024 at 9:52 am

    I’ve known Sussanne since junior high school. While she was dating Russ in college, Russ and I were at Mizzou together. He would often ride back to Independence with me to see Sussanne. After they were married, Sussanne and Russ lived across the street from Ruth Anne and I for period of time. We kept in touch through the years. I knew Sussanne was in poor health for quite some time. It’s always difficult to lose a dear friend and I will miss her. She loved her God and I know she is with him.

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