Obituary: Carol Jane Smallenburg, Educator

Carol Jane Smallenburg passed away in her Burbank home on Nov. 16 from natural causes. She lived in Burbank for 65 years.

She was born in Santa Barbara on Dec. 25, 1915, to Margaret and Virgil Thornton.

At 16, she entered Stanford University and graduated four years later with a bachelor’s degree, eventually earning a doctorate in education. One of her early jobs was teaching at Burbank High School.

She later became a professor and chairwoman of the Department of Secondary Education at Cal State Los Angeles. Smallenburg was awarded the title of professor emeritus when she retired.


As part of her dedication to education, she created a scholarship in her own name, and in the name of her husband, Dr. Harry Smallenburg, and her mother, Margaret Thornton. She also established two Smallenburg scholarships at Burbank High School.

Smallenburg is survived by her children, Harry, John, Carol and Robert; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at Cal State Los Angeles in the Golden Eagle Ballroom 3.

FOR THE RECORD: This corrects an earlier version that had the incorrect time of the memorial service.