John Francis Phelan U.S. Veteran

February 11, 1929 - September 17, 2012

John Francis Phelan, age 83, of Perry, Iowa, passed away Monday, September 17, 2012, at Rowley Memorial Masonic Home in Perry, Iowa, surrounded by his loving family. John was born on a farm north of Perry, Iowa, on February 11, 1929. He was the youngest of three children, and the only son of Frank and Rose (Hager) Phelan. John attended the one room school house at Berkley for his elementary education. His high school years were spent at St. Patrick's Catholic School in Perry, graduating in 1947. He completed the two year program at Iowa State University for Agricultural Operations. After farming with his family for one year, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served for two years in Atlanta, Georgia. On June 7, 1952, he married Colleen McCarty, who was a friend of his family. They resided in Georgia until February 1953 when they returned to the Perry area so that he could operate his family's farm north of Perry. He was the third generation to farm the homestead. They were blessed with nine children, seven girls and two boys. John took good care of his family, was always present in their lives, and provided each one with a college education. John was involved in his parish, St. Patrick's Catholic Church, in many ways over the years, being a 60 year member of the Knights of Columbus. He participated in religious education classes and especially enjoyed the small discussion group he joined in later years. John was a dedicated member of the Rippey American Legion, serving in the Honor Guard every Memorial Day at the local cemeteries. He also served on the Rippey Coop Board. He enjoyed watching local high school sports teams, as well as Iowa State's teams. John loved being around people. He enjoyed the companionship of his family and many friends over the years. He loved to share stories and many enjoyed his great sense of humor. Throughout his life he had a real love of music. He was a wonderful father, imparting many "philosophies of life" to his children and grandchildren over the years. His impact will go on for generations, as he now has 22 grandchildren and two great- grandchildren. Survivors include seven daughters, Denise (John) Ostrem of Elgin, Ill., Karen (John) Reed of Jefferson City, Mo., Mona Phelan of Parker, Colo., Vicki (Ben) Biller of Leawood, Kan., Lori (Randy) Good of Ogden, Iowa, Jacquie Phelan and Shannon (Doug) Heinen of West Des Moines, Iowa; two sons, Mike (Lori) Phelan of West Des Moines, Iowa, and Tim (Selene) Phelan of Clive, Iowa; 22 grandchildren, Katie and Kelly Ostrem, Nicholas Reed, Jennifer (Jeff) Billings, Lauren (Carl) Otteman, Patrick (Markie) Feltault, Ryan, Amy, Sara and Abby Biller, Michael, Brian, Patrick and Elizabeth Good, Megan and Tyler Phelan, Alex, Isabella and Connor Phelan, Rachel, Ashley and Christine Heinen, and great-grandchildren, Evan Billings and Emma Feltault. He was preceded in death by his wife, Colleen; his parents; and his sisters, Lucille Haley and Grace Chandler. Mass of Christian Burial was held Friday, September 21, 2012, at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Perry, Iowa. Visitation was Thursday, September 20, 2012 from 5 to 7 p.m. with a vigil service at 7 p.m. at Carris Family Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Violet Hill Cemetery in Perry. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Patrick's Catholic Church or St. Patrick's Catholic School in Perry. Online condolences may be sent at

Obituary Condolences

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Please review our Policies and Procedures before registering or commenting

News Tribune - Obituary Condolences