Mr. Jesse Willard Phelps
Published 12:28 am Thursday, January 29, 2009
AUGUSTA, GA. — Jesse Willard Phelps departed this life on January 25th of complications resulting from a long illness. He was 84. Mr. Phelps, a native of Creswell, N.C., was a retired Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army. He served his country proudly for 28 years beginning as a young man in the First Cavalry. As a career army man, he served in a great variety of divisions including the Infantry, Signal Corp, Taiwan Defense Command, and as an advisor to the National Guard. He was a decorated veteran of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, receiving several Meritorious Service medals, Commendations, and three Bronze Stars. After retiring from the service, he was an owner/operator for the Schwerman Trucking Company in Augusta, GA for ten years. He was a big man with a big heart. He was known to be firm but fair with the troops under his supervision, congenial with a generous spirit, a loving husband, father, and brother. His God, his country, and his family are the things he held most dear.
Mr. Phelps is survived by his wife, Betty Lou Dunn Phelps of Augusta, GA, to whom he was her beloved for 56 years. He will continue to live in the memory of his son, Donald Lee Phelps and wife, Bonnie, of Palomar Mountain, CA; his daughters, Jessica Phelps West of Decatur, GA and Melody Sue Rayl and husband, David, of Kokomo, IN. He was the grandfather of Brandon Todd and Nathan Adam Phelps; Ryan Lee and Jesse Aaron Rayl; and Troy Taylor West. He was the great-grandfather of Kiara Zipporah Lee and Judah Axton Phelps, the children of Brandon and Heidi Phelps. Also remaining are three brothers, Lester, Waverly, and Robert Phelps; and two sisters, Verna Herrington and Norma June Phelps; along with many dear nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Milton Henry and Pearl Davenport Phelps of Creswell, N.C.; and three brothers, Cecil, Leroy, and Henry Phelps and one sister, Myriene Lamb; and his son-in-law Dennis West.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made in his memory to the Fleming Christian Church, 2526 Lumpkin Rd., August, Georgia 30906 where he was a member.
The funeral with military honors will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 31st at the Philippi Church of Christ in Cherry, N.C. Arrangements are being handled by Elliott Sons Funeral Home of Augusta, GA and Maitland Funeral Home of Creswell, N.C. Visitation with the family will be Friday evening at Maitland Funeral Home from 7-9 p.m.