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Washington - John Phelps, loving husband, father, and grandfather, died on May 18, 2022, at the age of 73.
He was born on September 16, 1948, in Washington, IL, to Russell and Katharine Phelps. A talent for basketball emerged early on, and he enjoyed a storied career at Eureka High School, where his remarkable records for both single season and career scoring stood for 40 years. At 19, he answered the call of duty from his country. He became a demolitions specialist for the U.S. Army and completed a full tour during the Vietnam War, despite being injured in the line of duty. He was awarded the Purple Heart, among other medals, for his sacrifice and bravery.
Upon his return, he spent a five-decade career serving local farmers at Grainland Co-Op in Eureka before “retiring” to Hoerr Nursery in Peoria, where he was able to combine two of his great loves: the outdoors and plants. In addition to being an avid gardener, John was a passionate athlete. He competed in marathons and triathlons for many years, becoming well known around his hometown of Eureka as “the running guy.”
A listener rather than a talker, John’s quiet ways hid a deep well of thoughtfulness and compassion. He gave grace easily, held fast to a profound sense of honor, and believed in the dignity and value of every person who crossed his path. John will be remembered for his sophisticated style, die-hard rock ‘n roll enthusiasm, and culinary prowess.
He was preceded in death by his parents. Surviving are his wife, Gloria Phelps, of Washington, IL; his daughter, Tori Gum (Jeffrey), of Mt. Pleasant, SC; his step-son, Shane Harp, of Bloomington, IL; his step-daughter, Lonna Davidson, of Metamora, IL; his sister, Jo Tyson (Bob), of Georgetown, TX; his nephew, David Tyson (Sheri) of Amarillo, TX; and his niece, Heather Rogers (Steve) of Georgetown, TX. He also leaves behind 10 grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and eight great-nieces and -nephews.
A celebration of life will take place at 11 a.m., Wednesday, May 25, at Argo-Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home in Eureka, IL. A one-hour visitation will precede, and a graveside service at Olio Cemetery will follow. Donations in his honor may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project. Online condolences can be sent to the family at www.argoruestmanharris.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Phelps, please visit our floral store.
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
10:00 - 11:00am (Central time)
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Starts at 11:00am (Central time)
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