Mary Louise (Mimi) Small Brock, 85

Mary Louise (Mimi) Small Brock passed away on September 27, 2021, at NHC Oak Ridge. She was the daughter of James and Lucy Small who preceded her in death. She was born on August 19, 1936, in Valdese, NC.

The family moved to Oak Ridge in 1947 when Mimi was in the sixth grade. She attended Highland View Elementary, Jefferson Junior High, and graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1954.

She attended Tennessee Tech from 1954-56 at which time she quit to work as a receptionist at Shilling Clinic in Gatlinburg, TN.

While there, she helped to work with the outdoor drama “Chucky Jack” where she met her husband, Samps. They were married on January 8, 1959, at Central Baptist Church, Oak Ridge.

She completed her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and a Masters degree in Library Science at U.T. Knoxville. She entered the teaching profession in Roane County at Emory Elementary and taught 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades for 10 years. Following this, she moved to Oliver Springs Elementary where she spent 28 years. There, she set up and operated the school’s first library. When the school burned in 1978, she traveled to four locations for storytime and library lessons for the children in each of the temporary centers.

Upon moving into the newly renovated and restored building in 1981, she resumed her duties. Many a child will remember the “alligator pit” she named, the books she read, and the stories she told. She also took part in many of the school’s dramatic productions which she loved. She retired in 1996. Following retirement, she was appointed to the Library Board for the Oliver Springs City Library and was also an active volunteer there.

Some of her accomplishments include: She helped to establish and lead a Girl Scout Troop in the Norwood community in 1959. She was a member of the Roane County Education Association and was Secretary for the organization for a one-year term. She was appointed a member of the first negotiating team in the county and was associated with and a member of many committees throughout her professional life.

She was a member of First Baptist Church, Oliver Springs. While there, she acted as Sunday School Superintendent for two years, was a member of the adult choir, adult Sunday School class, the WMU, and worked with Vacation Bible School. She took part in many dramatic productions and served on a variety of committees.

She was an active member of the Historical Society and volunteered on many occasions for various fundraisers. She helped with a guided bus tour of Oliver Springs historical homes and movie sites every year at the October Sky Festival.

Mimi, a well-known storyteller, loved to write stories and nonsense poetry, especially about co-workers and people for whom she cared. With the help of a former student, Bradley Lambert, she recently had a book of her work published.

She is survived by a sister, Joyce Hepler Fox; niece, Susan (Mike) Lee; nephews, Stephen Butcher and Chris Hepler; great-nieces, Kirsten Lee, Samantha, and Sarah Hepler; great-nephew, Bobby Lee. She is also survived by several cousins and members of the Brock family of Kentucky. Her sister, Nancy Butcher died in 2007. Her husband of 48 years died in 1997.

Memorials may be made to the Oliver Springs Historical Society, First Baptist Church, or the charity of your choice. 

The family will receive friends from 5-7 pm Saturday, October 2, 2021, at Premier Sharp Funeral Home in Oliver Springs with the funeral to follow at 7 pm with Pastor Kenny Rains officiating. She will be entombed at Oak Ridge Memorial Park on Sunday, October 3, 2021, at 2 pm beside her husband. The family requests that while visiting indoors, guests please wear masks for the safety of all.

Premier Sharp Funeral Home is proud to be serving the Brock family and a message of condolence may be left for them at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mimi, please visit our floral store.

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