Surrounded by her family with those she loved most, our precious Retta passed away on September 22, 2021. We rejoice in knowing that she lived a full life of devoted service to Christ and all who knew her.
Retta Sue Phelps was born on November 10, 1942, in Borger Texas, to Cecil William "Rusty" Phelps and Imogene Parker Phelps. She grew up in Phillips, Texas in a close, loving family with her brothers, Burl and Glen and her sisters Colene and Betty.
Retta had a special gift of serving others. She took great pride in knowing the proper order of service is Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last. J-O-Y. She knew that this is how true joy is experienced in life. She lived her mantra of joy every day as a bright light in this world and a prayer warrior for all. At any given moment, Retta would be lifting others to Christ in prayer, standing in intercession, giving words that those in need could not voice. There was an unpublished hotline to Retta, the prayer warrior. Many, many people would seek her out and request prayer, knowing that she would drop everything and take it to the Lord. Retta expressed her joy through song. Her favorite thing was to praise the Lord with her voice, always singing from her soul. She was never formally educated in music, however, she had a natural gift and filled our world with song. At family gatherings she would play the piano despite not knowing how to read music and we would have family sing-a-longs. Even in her last days, as we all sang together, her feet were tappin'.
Retta married the love of her life, Floyd Stewart, after a very brief courtship, November 19, 1963. They went on to have two daughters. Shelly Lynn born September 12, 1964 and Mendy Suesanne was born August 6, 1973. Her girls were her world and she loved making a home for them and supporting all they did. She took great pride in her children, but her grandchildren were the jewels in her crown. It was becoming "Nanny" that truly made her life complete. She was Nanny and Momma Retta to so many. She had a special gift with children that could not be described in words. Her children were always happy to share her with others because they knew just how truly special she was.
Retta was proud to be a homemaker and she also kept children in her home. She was a member at Franklin and Juniper St. Church of Christ where she taught Bible class to the small children for years. She was a natural teacher and storyteller. Her family knew that she had to be shared with everyone. Friends would come to the house for prayers, for friendship, and to eat. The food at Retta's house always tasted better. She was the epitome of the Virtuous Woman in Proverbs 31 who took care of everyone and asked for nothing in return. "…For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband does safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. …Her children rise up and call her blessed." In her later years, her life was one of hardship, but her faith in her God was never shaken. In fact, she grew even stronger in her service to do the Lord's Will. On her deathbed, she made everyone feel loved and found opportunities to tell others about Christ and His teachings. Retta kept on, right up until her last moments. She said, "I cannot leave this earth until my family knows how to live their lives so that each will be reunited with me." She was genuine and made people better by her example and her influence on their lives. She will be deeply missed.
Retta is survived her husband, Floyd, her children Shelly and her husband Eddie Ratliff; Mendy and her husband Kevin Farmer of Borger; her grandchildren Lindsey and Matt Morrow of Lubbock, Justin Mauldin and Justine Forrest of Aurora, Colorado; Kaden, Landry and Easton Farmer all of Borger; great grandchildren Maddie and Conner Morrow of Lubbock, her sister Betty Trout and her brother Glen Phelps, both of Borger. She was blessed with numerous and nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, Rusty and Imogene Phelps, her brother Burl Phelps and her sister Colene Berry.
Visitation will be held Friday, September 24, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Burgin Funeral Home. This will be the only opportunity given for her viewing.
Retta's memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 25, at 1:00 p.m. at Riverview Baptist Church.
Published by Borger News Herald from Sep. 23 to Sep. 24, 2021.