Losing a community icon

By JENNIFER BOZEMAN,

Mrs. Faye, as most of Clarke County knew her, unexpectedly passed away Tuesday, April 28 while in the hospital. Faye LaBoone was owner of Small World Daycare for 40 years and has helped raise many of our children during those years. Some of the children she tended to grew up, had families of their own and brought their children to Small World. She retired from the daycare business in October 2019.

So many poured out their love and sentiments on Facebook Wednesday after learning of her death, and she deserved every single one of them. After all, she raised our babies. She took them in, taught them many skills, potty trained them, whatever it took. As she said in an interview with The Tribune in late September 2019, “I’ve always had the same philosophy: we’re going to be here all day, so we might as well have some fun and learn something.”

I remember the first time I took both of my children there, of course they were scared to death, crying and clinging to me. She would grabs them by the hand and tell me they will be fine in a few minutes and will be used to it by two weeks. And she was exactly right. By two weeks, they would walk in on their own and never look back.

No matter what was going on, every morning she would be sitting in her chair at her desk that was always overrun with paperwork greeting everyone with a hug and a smile. She went strictly by the book when it came to the strict state daycare regulations. I never had to worry about my children while they were there.

She loved her kids. It wasn’t just a job, it was a calling. “I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been fun. It’s just a joy to watch the children grow, learn, and develop. I’ve been very fortunate that so many people have shared their children with me,” explained Mrs. Faye. “It’s been a rewarding experience. I can’t imagine anything more rewarding to do.”

I was so sad when my babies were too old to go to her daycare and I begged her to add after-school care, but she couldn’t, so we had to leave. We still stopped by for visits or got big hugs when we saw her in town. Just a few weeks before she died, I had posted on Facebook that I needed new puzzles to work. She showed up on my doorstep with five. That was just the type of person she was.

Mrs. Faye will truly be missed in our community. I cried all day at my desk every time I read something on Facebook written by another mom and what she meant to them. The children growing up will never know how her hugs felt.