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Richard A. Phelan

Richard A. Phelan Obituary
Richard A. (Dick) Phelan, resident of the Village of Golf, March 16, 2020 at 98 years of age. Born in Chicago, he attended Evanston schools, Columbia Military Academy and Northwestern University, graduating in 1943 as a mechanical engineer, a member of the first class of the university's new technological campus. At the same ceremony, he received his commission as an engineering officer of the destroyer USS Lamson, part of the seventh fleet in the Pacific Ocean during WW II.

When the ship suffered a plane hit by a Japanese kamikaze and was so badly damaged that it had to be repaired at a Washington naval yard, he raced back to Evanston to marry his college sweetheart Edith Van Tuyle.

Survivors include his two daughters, Carolyn Arra (Brian) of Heath, Texas and Peggy Budlong (Gary) of Honolulu, Hawaii; two sons, Robert (Carolyn) of Evanston and James (Joanne) of Buffalo Grove; and several grand, great-grand, and great-great-grandchildren.

Dick's many contributions to an interesting and worthwhile long life include serving as a scout master, as Village Clerk of Golf, where he built the family's future home in 1950, as trustee for the First Presbyterian Church of Evanston and as President of Douglass and Company, an HVAC firm whose projects included installations at the Fermi National Laboratory and the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. He also served as a President of the Chicago Mechanical Contractors Association.

"Tin Can 367", the title of a book he wrote extolling the adventures of the Lamson during the war, was much appreciated by his fellow veteran shipmates.

His enthusiasm for jogging, working, telling a joke and his love of family and canine companions will long be remembered.

Services will be scheduled at a later date.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Mar. 26, 2020
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