August 12, 1950 - June 14, 2020
Edgerton, WI -- Donald Joseph Phelps was born the second of the five Phelps boys on August 12th, 1950, and raised in the Chicago suburbs of Bellwood and Glen Ellyn. He graduated from St. Francis High School in Wheaton, IL, and earned a B.S. in Economics from the University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana in 1974. Sparked by the gift of a radio, Donald developed a life-long interest in aviation at a young age. He was known to spend hours listening to communication between pilots and air traffic control as planes approached the runways at O'Hare Airport in Chicago. He took flying lessons, and made a successful solo flight. He took this interest in aviation into a career with Emery Air Freight, working at Emery's hubs in Dayton, OH and Atlanta, GA. After leaving this career, Donald developed a deep interest in wellness, nutrition, and homeopathic medicine. He moved to Edgerton, WI in 1988 to work as a property manager at The Farm. He greatly enjoyed the beauty of rural Wisconsin, marking the passing of the seasons through the migration of the sandhill cranes, and the activity of the deer and other animals in his backyard.
Donald died suddenly on June 14th, 2020. He will be remembered for his helpful and cheerful spirit. He always came for visits prepared to work, complete with work gloves and checklists. He traveled to California and Massachusetts to help out at the birth of his nephews and niece, found happiness helping his neighbors, and was a constant source of news clippings that he knew others would find of interest. He will be missed by family and friends alike. His spirit now soars higher than the airplanes he loved so much, yet remains here with us, too.
Donald was the devoted son of Warren Robert Phelps, Sr. and the late Patricia Mae (Bresnahan) Phelps; and brother of Warren (Steven Lome), Ronald (Tamra), and Patrick Phelps; and Robert (Marie) Clark-Phelps. He was the loving uncle to Brian, John, Greg, Chris, Brandon, Brendan, Thomas, Teresa, and the late Christine. He was also the great-uncle of three.
Funeral services will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 19, 2020, at the APFEL EHLERT FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICE, 315 Lord St. Edgerton. Burial will follow in Albion Prairie Cemetery. Visitation will take place on Friday from 10 a.m. until the hour of service.