In loving Memory of James Joseph Phelan Jim was born to Thomas and Veronica Phelan on December 22, 1942, in Tacoma, Washington. After his parents divorced, he and his 2 brothers were placed in foster care until eighteen. Jim was affectionately known as "Gentleman Jim" to his classmates and teachers. He was number 10 in his graduating Class at Bethel High School. Jim took H.S. college courses and planned to go to BYU with his best buddy, but circumstances changed and he enlisted in the Navy in 1961 where he worked as a storekeeper during the Vietnam War. He wanted to make a career of the Navy but his wife did not feel the same way, so Jim did not re-enlist. Jim's next employment was warehouseman with General Services Administration, Region 10 headquarters in Auburn, WA. GSA is the supply arm of the Federal Government and his federal service would continue to accumulate. Jim loved his GSA family. Later he transferred to the base fire dept. and became a Federal Structural Firefighter. Jim worked for 10 years until the fire department was closed down, then personnel found him comparable employment in procurement. He worked in this position until he retired at 40 years. Dianna was also working at the GSA headquarters as a switchboard operator and it was at this time that she met James. On March 14, 1980, they were married for time and all eternity in the Seattle Washington Temple. Jim fulfilled many church callings in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) throughout the remainder of his life. Stamps and coins were his lifelong hobby. In retirement he enjoyed building his retirement house in Spokane, WA, along with his son Sean. Eventually Jim continued buying remodeling and flipping fix-up houses with both sons Paul and Sean. Jim's health began to fail in 2009. He underwent chemotherapy for esophageal cancer and surgery to have his stomach removed. Rehab followed. Then they moved to Arizona. Jim Phelan passed away at his home in Glendale, Arizona on June 4, 2014. The funeral service was June 9, 2014 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Independence Ward Phoenix AZ. Interment at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix, AZ. Special Thanks to the children and grandchildren and many members of the church and friends who helped with meals and in so many other ways supported the family, Bishop and Sis Watkins and the Ward Relief Society for the luncheon in honor of Jim. He will be missed by all who knew him! He is survived by his wife of thirty four years, Dianna Phelan of Glendale, AZ; his sister Theresa Lynch of Mt. Horeb, WI; daughter Pamela Jones of Bountiful, Utah; sons Paul Gregory of Blanchard, Idaho and Sean Gregory of Spokane, Washington; 10 grandchildren; and 2 great-grandchildren.
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Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on July 2, 2014