Neil Marion Phelan left this world to be with the Lord and his heavenly family on June 13, 2018. Neil was born on May 25, 1922, to Thomas Marion and Lillie Maude Potts Phelan of Malvern.
After high school, he entered the Army Air Corps in hopes of becoming a pilot. His first experience was in an open cockpit Stearman biplane. He was then transferred to 3 and 4 engine aircraft where he became a B-17 pilot. He was stationed in England as a B-17 heavy bomber pilot during WWII, serving in the European Theater in the 305th BG. His honors included the Air Medal, the Meritorious Achievement Award, Bronze Leaf Cluster, and the Distinguished Flying Cross, flying 35 daylight missions over Germany. After the war he returned to Malvern and married Norma Janice Rhodes. He continued in the Air Force Reserves retiring as Colonel. He served as Hot Spring County judge for 12 years, from 1958 to 1972.
He was involved in many civic organizations which included the Lion’s Club, Rotary Club, Civitan Club, and the Chamber of Commerce. During his tenor as County Judge he worked to bring many factories and jobs to Malvern as well as the Vo-Tech, (now C.O.T.O.), and the Hot Spring County Library. He later owned several businesses, which included Lion Oil Agency and Mid-Ark Construction.
He loved his family and enjoyed his farm. Neil was a faithful member of Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, at Donaldson.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Marion and Maude Potts Phelan of Malvern, three brothers, Harold Phelan, Calvin Phelan, Hugh Phelan, three sisters, Hazel McKenzie, Nettie Jackson, Ruth Young and his wife of 64 years, Norma Janice Phelan.
Survivors include one daughter, Lynn McKim of McKinney, Texas, two sons, Neil M. Phelan, JR and wife Marilyn of Hot Springs Village, Timothy R. Phelan and wife Robin of Arkadelphia.
Nine Grandchildren: Marion Coles and husband Robert, Mike McKim and wife Shawn, Holly Garay and husband Juan, Mark Phelan and wife Amy, Laura Siddons and husband Upton, Kelli Ribera and husband Luis, Ryan Phelan and wife Brandi, Neil Phelan III, and Bryant Phelan.
Fourteen Great Grandchildren: Courtney McDonald, Matt McDonald, Chris Coles, Madison McKim, Sean Michael McKim, Ashlyn Martin, Nico Ribera, Alexis Ribera, Estella Phelan, Bryson Phelan, Audrey Phelan, Max Phelan, Upton Siddons, JR and Phelan Siddons.
Two great-great-grandchildren, Noah Gierke and Rowan McDonald and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be Tuesday, June 19 at 10 a.m. until service time at the Church.
Funeral will be Tuesday, June 19, at 11 a.m. at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church with Elder Neil M. Phelan Jr. and Elder Dan Samons officiating. Interment Ouachita Cemetery.
Pallbearers: Mark Phelan, Ryan Phelan, Neil Phelan III, Bryant Phelan, Luis Ribera and Upton Siddons. Honorary Pallbearers: Greg McDade and Mike McKim. Memorials can be made to Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, P.O. Box 351, Donaldson, AR 71941.
Arrangements by Regency Funeral Home. Sign the guest book at regencyfuneralhome.com.