Gloria M. Phelps
East Thetford, Vt. — Gloria May Morrill Phelps, 89, passed away at home suddenly and peacefully, in her sleep, on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013. She was born in Woodsville, N.H., May 18, 1924, the third of four girls born to Hazel Willey and John Morrill.
She attended schools in the Haverhill/Pike, N.H. area until moving to Waits River, Vt., to be with her Grandmother Willey and graduating from Bradford Academy in 1942. She went to work at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in Connecticut until she married George Archelaus Phelps on Oct. 8, 1944, and traveled with her Army Air Corps Sergeant to Colorado and Texas before returning to her grandmother’s to have her first child on Dec. 13, 1945.
She really enjoyed delivering the mail around the military post on a scooter until she got so pregnant they were afraid she would tip it over. When George returned from England, where he flew two missions as a tail gunner in a B52 bomber on D-Day, they bought a farm in Waits River and had three more children. Caring for her husband and children was her life. They gave up farming and bought a garage in North Thetford where George was permanently disabled in a work accident and hospitalized for two years. She worked part-time in the heel factory in Wilder, Vt., cooking hot lunch at schools and driving a school bus, and clerking at Thetford Center store, but caring for people was her real role in life, from her disabled husband to her children, to her grandchildren, and her neighbors.
She was pleased that she was able to care for herself right up to going to bed after one of her favorite pastimes, a TV football game, and never waking up. She was lonely after the passing of her husband in 2009, but she scheduled her life around her TV friends, breakfast with the girls on The View, lunch with Judge Judy, and no food after Wheel of Fortune. She especially enjoyed talking with her younger sister, Lou Lutz in Kittery Point, Maine, on the telephone for hours.
She leaves behind her children, Donna and Howard Durkee of East Thetford, George and Jean Phelps of Gardiner, Maine and Michael and Judy Phelps of East Thetford. Her daughter, Brenda Jenks Martin of San Francisco predeceased her. She cared a great deal for all her grandchildren, Lori and Richard Howard of North Thetford, Douglas and Tara Durkee of Thetford Center, Gary and Margaret Sargent of Somerville, S.C., Joshua and Sarah Massey of Richmond, Maine, William and Michael Phelps of Gardiner, Maine, and Michael Jenks of Manchester, N.H. She lost her grandson, Anthony Massey, to a terrible motorcycle accident. Her two older sisters, Rita Waterman of Waits River, and Joan Clark Kranak of Spring Hill, Fla., also predeceased her. She also loved all 14 great-grandchildren and was very grateful for the companionship of Tyler, who visited almost daily.
Pursuant to her wishes, there will be no services. She donated her body to the Anatomical Gifts Program, Department of Anatomy, Dartmouth Medical School and requested that any memorial donations be made to them in Hanover, NH 03755-3832.