Lester H. Phelps
Lester H. Phelps, 85, of Findley Lake, N.Y., died peacefully on Jan. 10, 2018, at his home, surrounded by his family.
He was born March 10, 1932, in Ripley, N.Y., to Charles and Vera May Colt Phelps. He was the seventh and last living of the eight children: James, Edith, William, Edna, Cora, Martha, Lester and Alta.
As a youngster, Lester lived in various places and was raised by many caring families in Chautauqua and Erie County, Pa., thus he attended Colton, Clymer, Sherman, Ripley, Columbus and Erie schools.
He started working in French Creek at the local saw mills in 1950-70 and then changed careers to begin working at Welch’s in North East from 1970-96, at which time he retired. During that time, he also worked a little while for the town of Mina highway department. During these years from 1954-98, he and his wife, Nyla, maintained a working dairy farm in the town of Mina. Nyla ran the farm and Lester worked the mills. Together they raised eight children and encouraged them to be all they could be. Times were tough, especially when the going wage was 65 cents per hour, but they persevered.
After retirement and selling the dairy part of the farm in 1998, Lester and Nyla continued crop farm-ing and sold hay throughout the area to this day.
They enjoyed traveling whenever they got a chance. Up until now, a great family trip was when they would bring their family to Jack Frost Donuts in Erie, Pa., Fulton Fish Market in Jamestown, N.Y., or G.C. Murphy store in North East, Pa. for new clothes. They traveled to Branson, Dolly-Wood, Washington state, and Arizona to name a few.
Lester was always a jok-ester and always had a little laugh maker ready to tell anyone that he met. As an example, during his last hospital stay he told the staff that the inventor of the hospital gowns was “Seymore Hiney.” He would do anything for anybody who was willing to help themselves. He had no time for lazy people and encouraged and supported his children to work hard and said the end results would be rewarding.
Lester is survived by his wife of 66 years, Nyla June Stetson Phelps. His caring and understanding children: Terry (Darla) Phelps of Findley Lake, Sherry Reed of North East, Pa., Shirley (Allen) Larsen of Scottsdale, Ariz., Cindy (Nick) Kopta of Clymer, Cathy (Darl) Redlecki of Sher-man, Timothy (Beth) Phelps of Clymer, Tommy (Colleen) Phelps of South Ripley, and Tammy Snyder of Falconer, N.Y.; 11 grandchildren; and 23 great-grandchildren. Last but not least, his dog “ROVER,” who would poke and prod him to rem-ind him that it was meal time and walk time. This dog kept Lester going and reinforced his will to live to the fullest. Rover loved to ride in the cab of the big, new tractor.
He was predeceased by his parents; all of his si-blings; a grandson, Brian Reed; and daughter-in-law, Sue Phelps.
Friends may call at the William D. Elkin Funeral Home, 65 S. Lake St., North East, Pa., on Sunday Jan. 14, 2018, from 1-4 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the fire department of your choice, Hospice of Chau-tauqua County, or the Family House, 5001 Baum Blvd, Suite 545 Pittsburg, PA 15213.