Lester H. Phelps

Born: Thu., Mar. 10, 1932
Died: Wed., Jan. 10, 2018


1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Sun., Jan. 14, 2018
Location: William D. Elkin Funeral Home

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Lester H. Phelps, 85, of Findley Lake, NY died peacefully on January 10, 2018 at his home surrounded by his family. He was born March 10, 1932 in Ripley, NY to Charles and Vera May Colt Phelps. He is 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 1950-1970 and then changed careers to begin working at Welch’s in North East from 1970-1996 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 1954-1998 he and his wife, Nyla, maintained a working dairy farm in the Town of Mina. Nyla ran the farm & 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 per hour, but they persevered.
After retirement & selling the dairy part of the farm in 1998 Lester & Nyla continued crop farming 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, NY, 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 jokester 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, AZ, Cindy(Nick) Kopta of Clymer, Cathy(Darl) Redlecki of Sherman, Timothy(Beth) Phelps of Clymer, Tommy(Colleen) Phelps of South Ripley, and Tammy Snyder of Falconer, NY, also 11 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren. Last but not least, his dog “ROVER”, who would poke & prod him to remind 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 siblings, a grandson Brian Reed, and daughter-in-law Sue Phelps.
Friends may call at the William D. Elkin Funeral Home, 65 South Lake St, North East, PA on Sunday January 14th, 2018 from 1 pm ‘til 4 pm.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the fire department of your choice, Hospice of Chautauqua County, or the Family House 5001 Baum Blvd, Suite 545 Pittsburg, PA 15213.

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