Robert H Phelps
1st Sgt. H Company 2 BN 24th Reg.
May 19, 1919 - Jan 6, 2019
Robert Henry Phelps, of Bullard, Texas, passed away peacefully at his home on January 6, 2019, at the age of 99 years.
He was born on May 19, 1919 in Palo Alto, California. The 2nd oldest of five children his parents and grandparents homesteaded on 40 acres of land outside of Lancaster, California where the they ranched and eventually owned and operated a local dairy.
In 1937, after graduating from high school, he entered the United States Marine Corps. He was assigned to the First Division and spent the next two years stationed on the U.S.S New Orleans, with the following years spent at the San Diego Marine Base, Camp Elliott and Camp Pendleton.
After leaving the Marine Corps he went to work for Northrup Aircraft, however after one year, war was declared and he was recalled to the Marines. He was promoted to the rank of First Sergeant and assigned to the 4th Marine Division. His unit saw action in four major campaigns in the Pacific Theater: Roi-Namur, Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima. He received two Purple Hearts as a result of injuries he received during these campaigns.
After sustaining his injuries on Iwo Jima he was evacuated back to the States and spent the next 8-months recuperating at Oak Knoll Hospital in Oakland, California. It was during this period that he met Mary Ellen Woolley, who was at the time serving in the United States Naval Reserve (Women's Reserve) and was stationed at Treasure Island. They were married on August 4, 1945.
After his discharge from the Marine Corps, Robert enjoyed a distinguished career in the still burgeoning field of telephony, starting first as a stock and shipping clerk for the Stromberg Carlson Company, and retiring in 1980 as Vice President and General Manager for the Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan division of Continental Telephone Corporation (later to become Contel, then GTE).
After his retirement Robert and Mary Ellen moved to the community of Emerald Bay, in Bullard Texas. In 1990, after 45 years of marriage, Mary Ellen passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. In 1994 he married Dorothy Louise Craddock. They enjoyed 16 years together before Dorothy passed away in 2010 after a long battle with Alzheimer's.
Robert was a member of the Masonic Lodge and attained the level of 32 Degree Mason. He was also a member of the 4th Marine Division Association, Contel Club, and the Telephone Pioneers of America.
Robert is survived by his sons; Thomas (Candyce) of Bullard, TX, David (Jennifer) of Kerrville, TX, and Donald (Sara) of Aurora, IL; step-daughters: Claudia Cleneay, Connie Tenneson, Carol Boyle, and stepson John Craddock II.. He was blessed with 7 grandchildren: Todd, Cyndi, Mason, Myles, Patton, Paige, and Daizy; and 4 great-grandchildren: Hogan, Palmer, Reed, and Grant. He was preceded in death by Mary Ellen, Dorothy, and son James Robert.
Interment will be private. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Hospice of East Texas.