Earl F. Phelps, Sr., age 76, passed away on Saturday, November 10, 2012. Earl is now in peace and with his Lord and Savior. Earl was born on a rural farm in Courtland Township to Jerome B. and Margaret (Wall) Phelps on April 1, 1936. Growing up he was very close with his older brother Junior. They were hard working farm boys and picked potatoes for area farmers at a very young age. Earl was the nurturer to the smaller siblings, including neighbor children, Tommy and Susie Van Hoven. He rocked them all hours on end. Earl was the president of his FFA chapter in high school and had earned a scholarship to MSU, but enlisted in the US ARMY and was trained in intelligence. He married Joan Marie (Briggs) in 1955, and together they were stationed in Albuquerque, near White Sands, New Mexico. They returned back to Michigan in 1958. Starting their family of soon to be four children. Earl had a life long career in the plumbing and heating industry, both residential (Gebhardt & Phelps) and commercial industry (Earl F. Phelps Mechanical Co). Earl was an exceptional provider and always put others first. He will be missed deeply by his children; Laura (Dennis) Smith of New Mexico, Kim (Deane) Feikema, Earl Jr. and Brenda of Saranac, Lynne (Mark) Carlson; grandchildren, Dennis (Felicia) Smith, June (Andy) Klementowski, Dakota Carlson, Katelynn Feikema, Dillon Carlson, Andrew and Madison Phelps; great-grandchildren (who could do no wrong, according to Earl), Kylie Poole, Alana Smith, Hunter Carlson, and Emma Klementowski. He is survived by three siblings. Earl was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Joan Marie (2009), in-laws, Clifford and Dorothy Briggs, Chet Briggs, Helen, and Julie Phelps, brother, Jerome Junior, two nieces, Kathy Jo Phelps, and Sherry (Phelps) Wright, a special first cousin, Richard E. Goller, Sr., uncle, Benjamin Wall. A huge “thank you” is given to the many caregivers and staff at Metron of Belding. They all helped to surround Earl with gentleness and love. In keeping with Earl’s wishes, cremation will take place and a private burial will follow at Rosedale Cemetery in Allendale, Michigan at a later date. Earl and Joan are together again “together forever”. Memorial contributions may be given to the Alzheimers Association or the Cedar Springs Public Schools FFA.
Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford www.pedersonfuneralhome.com