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PHELPS, Ruth

Ruth Phelps passed away in her sleep, April 15, 2018. Born Ruth Frances Baker on June 11, 1927 in Oak Park Illinois, she lived in Brookfield and later in Riverside Illinois. She began performing at age 11, when she won an opportunity to sing with a small orchestra. Ruth studied piano and voice, but preferred singing. Her older sister Marjorie often accompanied Ruth on the piano when they performed together. Ruth sang lead soprano with the Chicago Civic Opera, performing across the Country, and in 1945, won the Chicagoland Music Festival.
She married Edwin Phelps Jr. when he returned from fighting in Europe in 1945. While Ed went to college they lived in a house trailer and then a cottage on Gull Lake in Kalamazoo Michigan. They had three children, Edwin Phelps III, Linden and Vernette. Ed worked at radio stations in Nashville, TN., Robinson, IL., and then owned WIKB radio station in Iron River, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula where together they helped form the Northwoods Symphony.
In 1965 Ed, Ruth and family moved to Pasadena, California and then bought a home in Altadena where they lived for 35 years. As active members of Pasadena First Baptist Church they hosted many church and youth group meetings in their home. Ruth was a soloist and sang in the choir. Ruth worked as an administrative assistant at Pasadena College, Hillsides School, and as Executive Secretary at May Co. Eagle Rock, and Lake Ave. Congregational Church. In 2004 they moved to Atherton Baptist Homes in Alhambra where Ed died in 2006.
Ruth is survived by her three children, Edwin Phelps III and wife Susan, La Verne, CA., Linden Ward, (whose husband Jay Ward preceded Ruth in death), Seattle WA., Vernette Doty and spouse John Doty, Merced, CA., her grandchildren, Evan Doty, Brook Phelps, Evan Lewis, Cassandra Phelps, Andrew Doty, Frances Logan, and three grandchildren, Savannah Logan, Dory Logan and Jonathan Doty. Her positive approach to life and her love for each, continues to anchor and inspire us.
A memorial service for Ruth will be held Saturday, May 19th at Atherton Baptist Homes Chapel, Alhambra, CA. at 3:30p.m.
Published in Pasadena Star-News on May 15, 2018
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