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Charles "Skip" Phelps


1932 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Charles "Skip" Phelps Obituary
Charles "Skip" Phelps, of Palm Coast, FL and Deep River, CT, died on March 22 and is now reunited with Lois, his bride of 64 years. Born in his parents' home on Kirtland Street in Deep River on February 26, 1932, he was the son of Wellington and Elsie Maas Phelps.Skip leaves his son Michael and wife Rosemary Crea Phelps of Pittsfield, MA and his daughter Leslie Phelps Riviere and husband Bill Riviere of Guilford, CT, and five grandchildren: Amy Riviere and spouse Christopher Wasileski of Falmouth, ME, Karyn Zlotnick and spouse Peter Zlotnick of Mansfield, CT, Traci O'Brien and spouse Michael O'Brien of Deep River, Kevin Phelps and spouse Courtney of Lanesboro, MA, Megan Correia and spouse Benjamin Correia of Pittsfield, MA. Skip also leaves three cherished great grandchildren: Haley Wasileski, who called him "G Pop", Harper Phelps and Clayton Correia. He is also survived by his cousins Gloria Kalinowski of Westerly, RI, and Elsie Drudi of Florida. Skip had many dear friends from his long life in Deep River and from boating with Lois in Connecticut, Florida and the Bahamas. His greatest passions were his family and the water and he found many ways to combine them both. During his days growing up in Deep River, he spent countless hours swimming to the big island and boating on the Connecticut River. This evolved into a life that always included the joys of sailing with family and friends. He was a Founding Member of the Essex Boat Club, the site of many family gatherings.After high school Skip enlisted in the U. S. Airforce and proudly served his country for four years during the Korean War. He met and married Lois Rust in 1954 and after returning to Deep River from the Airforce in 1955, he and Lois personally built their home on the Kirtland Street Phelps' family homestead. They raised their two children, Leslie and Michael, there and used the nearby Connecticut River to instill in them their love of the water.Skip began studying electronics while working for Pratt and Whitney, then went to work at Chester Electronics. Later he joined Whelen Engineering, where he became a Vice President and part owner. Skip was responsible for the development of Whelen's patented Outdoor Warning Siren that is capable of high powered voice messages used to alert people of pending disasters. Skip supervised the installation of these life-saving warning systems around the world, including many nuclear power plants, the Mt. St. Helens volcano and the entire eastern border of Denmark. These systems are still in use today.After retiring from Whelen, he and Lois began cruising to the Bahamas, later buying a home on the water in Palm Coast, FL, but always returning to summer in their beloved Deep River home.Above all, Skip was devoted to his family and immensely enjoyed spending time with them. He was known as the family "Mr. Fixit", willing to take on any project imaginable. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends.Friends and relatives of Skip are welcome to share their memories at an informal luncheon at 12:00 noon on Sunday, April 7, at the Saybrook Point Inn, Two Bridge Street, Old Saybrook, CT. 860-339-1316. Donations may be made in Skip's memory to the Deep River Fire Department, 57 Union Street, Deep River, CT 06417. Arrangements in care of the Guilford Funeral Home, 115 Church St, Guilford. To share a memory or leave condolences, visit www.guilfordfuneralhome.com
Published in The Hartford Courant from Mar. 31 to Apr. 4, 2019
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