Cletus Small -- Rochester

Cletus Small, 94, of Rochester, was called by the Lord on Thursday, May 14, 2015, at Madonna Towers where he resided. A funeral Mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 19, in Madonna Towers Chapel officiated by the Revs. Donald J. Schmitz and James D. Russell. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, May 18, in the River Park Chapel of Macken Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at Madonna Towers on Tuesday.

Cletus James Small was born June 14, 1920, to Thomas and Lucille (Sebenaler) Small. He was raised on the family farm north of St. Charles near White Water State Park. Cletus attended country school in Quincy Valley and graduated in 1937 from St. Charles HS. He enjoyed math and basketball.

After a lengthy courtship, Cletus married Ruth Trubl, of Winona, in 1952. While working the same land as his father and grandfather before him, Cletus and Ruth began to raise a family on the farm. He raised sheep and chickens for market and also cash crops. Events changed in 1968, the family moved to Rochester. Cletus worked at Crenlo for four years. In 1971, he started at St. Mary's Hospital as a custodian, a job he would retire from in 1986. Never shy to strike up a conversation or just to have something to say, Cletus enjoyed visiting and telling jokes to friends and strangers alike, a quality he shared to his last day.

Cletus never entirely left the farm. Mayo Clinic escorts would easily spot him in the crowd wearing his cow cap. Cletus and Ruth shared 60 years of marriage together. They were members of St. Francis parish, St. Pius parish and, lastly, Madonna Towers.

Cletus was preceded in death by Ruth in 2013; and one sister, Ethelmaye Dresler, in 2009. His surviving relatives include a sister, Ruby Brand; daughter, Mary (Tom) Dawson; son, Tom (Teresa) Small; son, Jim Small; granddaughter, Heather (Pat) Walsh; granddaughter, Tiffany Dawson (Andy Wendt); great-grandson, Murphy Walsh; and several nieces and nephews.

Forever generous, Cletus donated his body to Mayo Clinic Educational Services. A burial service will be at Calvary Cemetery at a later date. Online condolences are welcome at