Phelan, James Joseph, Saginaw, Michigan

Passed away on Saturday, March 20, 2010 at Covenant HealthCare-Cooper. Age 77 years. James Phelan was born on March 19, 1933 in Saginaw, Michigan to the late Thomas and Marie (LaPrairie) Phelan. He married Loretta Lewis on April 4, 1964 in Sanford, Michigan. She preceded him in death on July 24, 2005. James was a graduate of St. Mary High School. Upon graduation he attended Michigan State University. In 1953 he enlisted in the military serving as a Sergeant in the Korean War. During his military career he earned a Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, and a United Nations Service Medal. He also earned a Sharpshooter Badge, an Anti-Aircraft Artillery Bar and a Carbine Bar. After proudly serving our country James went back to Michigan State University. He was employed by the Saginaw Public Schools. James was also the co-owner and operator of Loretta’s Beef and Bourbon. He was actively involved as a treasurer with the Michigan Education Association. James was a longtime member of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, American Legion Post #439, and the Knights of Columbus Council #4232. He enjoyed the outdoors, especially fishing and hunting. James loved playing all card games, above all, poker. James also enjoyed spending time at his cabin at Whiskey Creek Resort. Surviving are three children: Elizabeth “Liz” (Kenneth) Thompson of Saginaw, Louis “Lou” Phelan of Saginaw, and Gail Phelan (Jose Gutierrez) of Indian River; three grandchildren: Kenneth Thompson, Martin and Loretta Gutierrez; a brother, William (Colleen) Phelan; a sister, Margaret (Duane) DeCorte; a sister-in-law, Kay Phelan and an aunt, Eva LaPrairie. Also surviving are numerous Lewis family members. James was preceded in death by his two twin daughters: Michelle Marie and Patricia Ann; a brother, Tom Phelan and a sister, Theresa Wesphal. A Memorial Mass will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 25, 2010 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 5376 State St. Rev. Fr. Randy Kelly will officiate. Military services will be conducted under the auspices of American Legion Post #439 at the Legion Hall, 5190 Weiss. Entombment will take place at a later date. Friends may call at the church on Thursday, March 25, 2010 from 10:00 a.m. until the time of Mass. In lieu of flowers those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the American Heart Association. Please share your thoughts and memories with the family at the church or through www.deislerfuneralhome.com.