Thomas R. Phelan
Thomas R. Phelan of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, went to be with his Heavenly Father at the age of 66 on Oct. 16, 2018, suddenly in Cedar Rapids. Visitation will be held at Cedar Memorial Park Chapel Stateroom on Friday, Oct. 19, from 4 to 7 p.m. A memorial service will be held at Cedar Valley Bible Church on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 11 a.m. and will be officiated by Pastor Joel DeSousa.
Born to Paul and Betty (Schwinn) Phelan on Nov. 29, 1951, Tom remained in Cedar Rapids for most of his life and married Kathleen Schmidt on Jan. 12, 1974. Tom was raised in the family business from the time he was old enough to work and spent afternoons and weekends learning the business from the ground up. After serving four years in the U.S. Air Force during Vietnam, Tom returned to the business in 1974 to work, and later assumed the responsibility for the wholesale division. Enjoying the travel and helping other retailers develop their product offerings, Tom was simultaneously employed by Valspar Corp. for 17 years and was named Salesman of the Year in 1985. To date, Tom was responsible for co-developing the commercial aspect of the business that serves many companies locally as well as nationally. He was actively involved with customer development, leaving the day-to-day operations to the extremely capable staff at Phelan's Interiors. He was active in the community in numerous volunteer positions, including the Boy Scouts of America, Equipping Youth, Bridgehaven and the Cedar Rapids Police Department.
He always was the life of the party and never let you walk past him without the proverbial "dad joke," hoping to make you smile. So many things made him happy, but few can compete with his love of auto racing, boats, the mighty Mississippi and his friends and family. He was generous with his time, loyal to so many and would stop at nothing to meet somebody else's needs. The one thing that could compete with all of these things was his love for Jesus Christ. Tom loved deeply and he will be missed by so many.
Tom was preceded in death by his younger brother, Peter Phelan; and his mother, Betty Phelan.
He is survived by his wife, Kathleen; four children, Meghan (Michael), Matthew (Barbara), McClain and Melanie; his father, Paul Phelan Sr.; and siblings, Steve, Mary Beth, Michael and Paul Jr.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the Peter Phelan Memorial Scholarship at Creighton University or to Bridgehaven.
Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.