GODFREY PHELAN, PATRICIA A - Greene County, Missouri | PATRICIA A GODFREY PHELAN - Missouri Gravestone Photos


National Cemetery aka Springfield National Cemetery
Greene County,

Lieutenant Colonel
US Army
Korea, Vietnam
Dec. 3, 1932 Lancaster Lancaster Co Pennsylvania
Mar. 14, 2013 Rogers Benton Co Arkansas
* Obituary Below

Sep. 19, 1942
Oct. 18, 1986

Lieutenant Colonel Michael Joseph Phelan, Jr., son of Michael Joseph Phelan, Sr. and Anna Katherine Sieber Phelan, was born December 3, 1932, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He departed this life Thursday, March 14, 2013, in Mercy Hospital Northwest, in Rogers, Arkansas, at the age of eighty years, three months, and eleven days.

In 1964, he was united in marriage to Patricia A. Godfrey, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and to this union two daughters were born. Patricia passed away of Lou Gehrig's disease after twenty-two years of marriage, on October 21, 1986.

He was also preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers, James "Jim" Phelan, and George Phelan.

On April 1, 2011, Mike moved to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where he joined his dear friend and partner, Joan Beverly McDermott, whom he had met in Vietnam some forty-three years earlier while she was serving as an Army nurse during the war. From April of 2011 hence, Joan became his lifelong mate and they shared a wonderful, loveable lifestyle together.

Mike is survived by his significant other, Joan McDermott, of Lake Havasu City, Arizona; two daughters, Kelly Bellers, and her husband, Mike, of St. Louis, Missouri, and Heather O'Dell, of Lebanon, Missouri; three grandchildren, Alex and Maddie Bellers, and Helena O'Dell; as well as a host of other relatives and friends.

He was born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from high school. He served as an enlisted man during the Korean Conflict and was later commissioned as an Infantry Officer. He served his country honorably during the Korean War, the Chinese Civil War (Quemoy) and the Southeast Asian Conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and other Asian nations. He retired from active duty in 1974, and located to the Missouri Ozarks.
Mike served the bulk of his military career with Parachute-Infantry and Special Forces (Green Beret) units. He was a graduate of Infantry School, the Armed Forces Staff College, the then, Army Language School (Chinese-Mandarin) and the Chinese Army Rough Terrain Parachute School. He participated in ten campaigns between 1961, and his retirement, serving four combat tours with U.S. Army Special Forces; Combined Studies Group (an Agency-quasi-military, special operations unit which trained and led indigenous teams behind enemy lines); the 1st Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry and MACV J-3 (Air). He was a Master Parachutist with hundreds of military and free-fall jumps as well as a participant in frequent heliborne combat assaults.

Among his awards are the Legion of Merit, Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Bronze Star, multiple Air Medals, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Bronze Star, the Vietnam Service Medal with Silver Star and four Bronze Stars, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, and numerous other U.S. and foreign decorations.

Since retiring to the Ozarks, Mike had enjoyed fishing and hunting, especially for rabbits. He liked Beagle dogs and had an adventurous spirit. He enjoyed telling corny jokes and visiting with his family and friends. He liked being supportive and watchful of his daughters, and particularly loved his grandchildren. He was a very patriotic man who was extremely proud to have been in the Green Berets.

Mike was a loving partner, father, and grand-father, and was a caring neighbor and friend. We celebrate his life and his many accomplishments and will remember him as a devoted family man, a decorated Army officer, and a good friend to many.

Plot: A, 165

Photo by Lori A Rutledge-HurstMichael

Contributed on 10/31/13 by tslundberg
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Record #: 744214


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Submitted: 10/31/13 • Approved: 10/31/13 • Last Updated: 4/3/18 • R744214-G744212-S3

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