Raymond Gordon Phelps
Died at home on April 7, 2014. Preceding him in death is his father, Raymond LeRoy Phelps; his mother, Violet Emeline (Ford) Phelps; three brothers, Rodney E., David W., Ernest L.; two sisters-in-law, Pat and Janie Phelps.
He is survived by his loving wife, Tina and two sisters-in- law, Shirley and Ruth Phelps.
He took forge shop at Arsenal Technical High School and graduated in 1940. He then attended Lincoln School of Arc Welding in Cleveland, OH. He worked for Consolidated Vultee Aircraft in Lindbergh Field, San Diego, CA working on B24 planes until May of 1942 when he joined the Navy. Ray was a WWII veteran proudly joining and serving in the U.S. Navy in 1942 right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 where his brother Rodney was stationed and received a purple heart.
He started at Bunker Hill Naval Air Station and then joined the U.S. Pacific Fleet Air Force Squadron (VC92) assigned to the USS Brenton Air Craft carrier (CVE-23) faring planes back and forth to Pearl Harbor.
At wars end, 1945, Ray took part in bringing home over 3,000 G.I.'s from Tokyo, Japan. He was an aviation metalsmith 1/C.
After the war he built and ran his own shop on Bonna Avenue, Irvington Welding for Arc and Gas Welding and Forge Work, from 1947 through 1949.
In 1950 he joined Eli Lilly & Co. and was a supervisor of the pipe shop at McCarty St. and then an engineering coordinator in plant and corporate engineering, retiring in December 1986.
He was a past member of Linwood Christian Church, Irvington Blue Lodge No. 666, American Legion, Irvington Post No. 38, Scottish Rite and had been a Shriner.
Presently he held memberships in Rural Smiths of Mid-America, Indiana Blacksmithing Association, and Artist Blacksmith Association of North America and attended St. Johns United Church of Christ when health permitted.
Ray loved fishing, some golfing, and going to flea markets; but his lifelong passion from high school on was blacksmithing. Even in his later years he still loved every aspect of blacksmithing.
Ray lived an exemplary life of integrity. He was the perfect husband. He was also a true friend and gentleman. All who had the privilege and pleasure of knowing Ray will have many fond memories of him. His word was his bond. He was a joy and honor to be around.
Visitation will be on Friday, April 11, 2014 in Wilson St. Pierre Funeral Service & Crematory, Greenwood Chapel , 481 West Main Street, Greenwood from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The funeral service will be on Saturday in the funeral home at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Forest Lawn Memory Gardens.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Rural Smiths of Mid America, 3525 Mann Road, Indianapolis, IN 46221 or Indiana Blacksmithing Association, 8235 East 499 South, Dunkirk, IN 47336 or a
You are invited to read the obituary online at http://www.wilsonstpierre.com where you may sign the guestbook and share a memory for the family.