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Irving "Mike" Phelps

Mike Phelps

It was to grandmother's house -- Rose Hill -- that Irving P. (Mike) Phelps came as a boy on visits to Aiken.

He was the son of William Walter Phelps, Jr. and Nina Paris Phelps, and his grandparents, the Sheffield Phelpses, became prominent members of Aiken's Winter Colony at the last turn of the century. He was a nephew of the late Miss Claudia Phelps, the last member of the family to occupy Rose Hill.

The first William Walter Phelps, whose father organized the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, served in Congress and was appointed minister first to Vienna and later to Berlin.

Mike Phelps' parents in later years acquired the handsome Dutch colonial home on South Boundary at York Street, and they were regular winter visitors.

Mike himself attended Buckley School, Fountain Valley School in Colorado and the University of Virginia. He served in the Army Air Corps as a bombardier/navigator on B-26s during World War II.

His working career was spent in the newsprint industry, and he was a top salesman for the Mead Corp., the Great Northern Paper Co. and Kruger Paper and Pulp. About 10 years ago he and his wife, Patricia, acquired a home on Sumter Street, while still maintaining a home at Beverly, Mass. He continued in his work as his health permitted.

Mr. Phelps died at his home here Easter Sunday at age 75. His funeral at All Saints Anglican Church was attended by an overflow crowd, including most of the Winter Colony who were in town.

Richard D. Sears III had known Mr. Phelps for some 40 years, since he and his wife were members with the Phelpses of the Myopia Hunt Club at Southhamilton, Mass.

"He worked with newspaper people to whom he sold newsprint, and he had a great many friends," Mr. Sears said. "He was a wonderful salesman, a fine raconteur with a rich collection of stories and jokes. He was the life of the party."

Since becoming a resident of Aiken, Mr. Phelps had acquired many more friends, and he will be greatly missed here. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family.

Aiken Standard, April (5?), 2000

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