Our staff at E. Alvin Small Funeral Homes & Crematory is comprised of dedicated and licensed professionals with the experience to answer all your questions regarding our services. Please feel free to contact any of our staff members at any time.
President of the Firm / Licensed Funeral Director
Bryan is president of the firm and is a licensed funeral director. A lifetime resident of Colonial Heights, he is married to Nancy Belcher Small and is the son of Ralph and the late Ruth Small. He is a graduate of Colonial Heights High School, Richard Bland College and Virginia Commonwealth University. He completed his mortuary education at John Tyler Community College after joining the firm full time in 1983. In 1990, he became president of the firm. He is a member of Colonial Heights Baptist Church, a past president of the Colonial Heights Lions Club and a past president of the Colonial Heights Chamber of Commerce.
Vice-President of the Firm / Licensed Funeral Director
Lou is a resident of Petersburg. He was born and raised in Roanoke, the son of the late Marion and Paul Smith. He is married to Sherrie Thornburg Smith, and has one son, Justin Charles Smith. He graduated from John Tyler Community College in December of 1982, with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service and became a Licensed Funeral Director in November of 1983. In 1990, he became vice-president of the firm.
Vice-President Emeritus of the Firm / Licensed Funeral Director
Herbert S. Small is a native and lifelong resident of Colonial Heights. He was born to the late Edward A and Dora Witt Small. Herbert is married to Arline Holt Small (Matoaca) and has two daughters, Susan Small Belcher, and Nancy Small Barnes both of Colonial Heights, three grandchildren, and a brother Ralph L. Small. He was educated in the Colonial Heights and Petersburg schools and later graduated from the Eckols Mortuary College in Philadelphia. He entered funeral service in 1956 with his brother Alvin and became Vice President of the firm until his retirement in 1990 when nephews Bryan D. Small and Louis C. Smith became owners. Herbert was appointed by the late Governor Mills Godwin to the State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers, which culminated in 1984 serving as its President, additionally he served on the Virginia Board of Funeral Directors for many years. In 2012 He was recognized by the Virginia Funeral Directors Association for 50 years of service in the funeral industry. Herbert is a 50-year member of Blandford Masonic Lodge #3, the Colonial Heights American Legion Post #284, member and Past President of the Kiwanis Club of Colonial Heights, a member of the VFW Post #2239, and a founder and member of Colonial Christian Church (DOC) serving as Elder, Teacher and Financial Chairman. He is an avid golfer and is still very active in Funeral Services.
Director of Operations / Licensed Funeral Director
John is a Yankee transplant, having relocated to Colonial Heights from Long Island, New York in October of 1993 to work for E. Alvin Small Funeral Home. John is married to Jaci and they have three sons together; John James Alban, Sgt. James Robert Alban and Joseph Thomas Alban; as well as a grandson, Christopher Ryan Alban. John is a 1981 graduate of the State University of New York at Farmingdale with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Mortuary Science and became a licensed funeral director in 1982. John was born in Aarau, Switzerland and was adopted from Italy when he was four years old. He was recently reunited with his birth mother who had been searching for her "bambino" for over fifty years. John is now attempting to learn and speak Italian as his Mamma Scoletta speaks no English. John is an active member of St. Ann Catholic Church and he relaxes by spending time with his friends and family, working around his home and taking road trips about Virginia.
Crater Road Chapel Manager / Licensed Funeral Director
John is a lifetime resident of Colonial Heights; he is the son of Paul and Dianne Piotrowski. John is married to Margie Anne Piotrowski. John and Margie are the owners and operators of the Discovery World Day Care Center in Colonial Heights. They have two daughters, Sara Elizabeth, and Katherine Anne Piotrowski. John started as a part-time associate while in high school in December of 1998. He graduated from John Tyler Community College with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service and became a Licensed Funeral Director shortly thereafter. He is a member of the Colonial Heights City Council. John and his family are members at Second Chance Baptist Church.
Licensed Funeral Director / Pre-Need Counselor
Josh currently resides in Chesterfield with his wife Erin, daughter Hallie, two dogs Lita and Ziggy, and cat Coco. He is originally from Amherst County, VA. Josh graduated from Virginia Tech in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations. After graduating he moved to Richmond and began his pursuit to become a funeral director. He attended John Tyler Community College, where he received his Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service in 2014, and became a Licensed Funeral Director in February of 2015. Josh enjoys Virginia Tech athletics and the Washington Redskins. He is a member of Washington and Henry Masonic Lodge #344.
Licensed Funeral Director/ Pre-Need Counselor
Taylor currently resides in Richmond with her husband, Adam, and a number of rescue pugs and cats. She graduated John Tyler Community College with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service in 2017 and became a Licensed Funeral Director shortly thereafter. Taylor enjoys spending time with her family and working with her husband to rescue feral cats in their neighborhood.
Licensed Funeral Director
Ellen is a resident of Dinwiddie County, and enjoys living the country life with her husband, Jeff. She graduated from John Tyler Community College with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service and became a Licensed Funeral Director in November of 2007. Ellen has two awesome daughters, Rebekah P. Crosby (Steven) and Rachel L. Primm; and two adorable, sweet grandsons, Carson and Wesley Crosby.
Licensed Funeral Director / Crematory Manager
Buddy resides in Prince George County with his wife, Debbie and their numerous spoiled pets. Buddy came out of retirement to join the firm as a part-time associate in March of 2010 and soon decided to begin a second career. In May of 2013, Buddy graduated from John Tyler Community College with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service, and became a Licensed Funeral Director in June of 2013. Buddy is an appointed member of the John Tyler Community College Funeral Services Advisory Council. He and his wife are members of Oakland Baptist Church in Prince George.
Office Manager / Bookkeeper
Cheryl is a resident of Colonial Heights and a member of Colonial Heights Baptist Church. She is a graduate of Colonial Heights High School and attended John Tyler Community College. Cheryl began as the company's first full time secretary in 1976, working for Alvin and Herbert Small. After leaving to pursue a career in motherhood, she returned in May of 1999 as Office Manager. Cheryl is married to Paul Whitlock, and enjoys time with her family, friends and outdoor activities.
Crater Road Chapel Administrative Assistant
Funeral Assistant/ Building and Grounds
Funeral Service Intern
Funeral Service Intern
(In Loving Memory) January 28,1938-November 27, 2020,
(In Loving Memory) October 3rd, 1937-June 21st, 2018
Retired Funeral Director
Donald J. Fortmuller was born and raised in Staten Island, New York. He married a Colonial Heights native, Beverly K. Simmons Fortmuller (CHHS '73), and lives in Prince George County. They have four children, Amy Franchock (Timothy), Thomas Fortmuller (Jessica), and twin daughters, Catherin David (Chris), and Christen Fortmuller; four grandchildren, Stacey, Ty, Lily and Luke. He enlisted as an Airman in the U.S. Navy in 1973 and retired as a Lieutenant (Limited Duty Officer) in 1993. He then served his apprenticeship for funeral service while attending John Tyler Community College and became a licensed Funeral Director with the former Purviance Funeral Home in Wakefield & Boykins, Virginia. He joined the E. Alvin Small Funeral Home and Crematory family in June of 1999. Donald is an active a member of the Prince George Christian Church, and a member of the Colonial Heights American Legion Post #284.
Retired Funeral Director
Jim is a lifetime resident of Colonial Heights and is married to Judy Russell. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration, an Associates Degree in Business Admin and in 1996 a John Tyler Associates Degree in Mortuary Science. He is retired from IBM where he worked as Account Executive in Marketing and Sales for 26 years. He is a license insurance agent and a license funeral director at E. Alvin Small Funeral Home. He is a member of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church