CROMWELL - John Francis Phelan of 6 Highland Green, Cromwell, Conn., husband of the late Helen S. Phelan, died peacefully on Friday, April 25, 2014 at the Hebrew Home in Hartford with his family at his side.
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He was born in Meriden on March 23, 1923, the son of Hugh and Catherine Phelan and had attended St. Joseph's School and Meriden High School. He attended Yale University and graduated from Trinity College in 1949.
After completing two years at Yale, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, completed his training in Virginia, and was stationed in Europe during World War II, receiving an honorable discharge in 1945.
John and Helen were married in New Rochelle, N.Y. in May 1957 and resided in Meriden where they raised their family.
John was the President and owner of the Gardner Kirby Corporation in Meriden. He was the past President of the Independent Insurance Agents of Connecticut.
While operating his successful insurance agency, Mr. Phelan was very active in other community activities. He was a past President of both the Red Cross and Visiting Nurses Association, served on the Board of Directors of the United Way, and was on the Board of the Walnut Grove Cemetery, where he will be buried. He was a past Corporator of Midstate Medical Center, and was a past President of the Community Foundation of Central Connecticut.
Mr. Phelan was active in local Republican politics for two decades in the 1960s and 1970s, and was campaign manager for the mayoral campaign of the late Howard Houston, and finance director for the mayoral campaigns of the late Honorable Donald T. Dorsey and Robert Schultz.
John was a member of the Meriden Rotary Club and the Home Club. He was active on the Board of Directors at the River Highlands Condominium Association in Cromwell where he most recently resided, and the Sea Pines Condominium Association in Brewster, Mass., where he enjoyed his summers.
He was a parishioner of St. Joseph Church, where for many years he passed the basket each Sunday.
John was a season ticket holder for the New York Giants where he and his family and friends enjoyed many football games.
He is survived by his daughter, Catherine Phelan, of Newburyport, Mass.; and Catherine's daughter, Caitlin Eldridge, of Exeter, N.H.; his son, Jack, of Hartford; Jack's wife, Claudia; and their children, Isabella and Jillian. Besides his wife, he was predeceased by his beloved sister, Helen Green. He is survived by several cousins and an extended family in both Connecticut and Ireland.
Friends and relatives are invited to attend a funeral service to be held on Tuesday, April 29, at 9 a.m. from the John J. Ferry & Sons Funeral Home, 88 East Main Street, Meriden, followed by a Mass of Christian burial at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Church, West Main Street, Meriden.
Calling hours will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday April 28, at the John J. Ferry & Sons Funeral Home.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at the Hebrew Home for their caring medical attention.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Community Foundation of Central Connecticut at 35 Pleasant Street, Meriden, CT.
Arrangements are under the direction of the John J. Ferry & Sons Funeral Home.
John J. Ferry & Sons Funeral Home
88 East Main Street
Meriden, CT 06450
Published in The Record-Journal on Apr. 27, 2014