George V. Phelan, Jr., of Heritage Village, previously of Norfolk, CT, died on March 12, 2012. He was surrounded by his wife, of nearly 60 years, their five children, daughter and son's in law and many of his grandchildren as well as three family pets. All family members not there in person, were with George in their hearts.
He was born in Waterbury, CT on February 2, 1927, to George V. Phelan Sr. and Helen (Bowers) Phelan.
George grew up in Waterbury on Luke St. where he enjoyed making mischief in the streets with his friends, going to school and taking in movie shows for just a nickel when he could. He graduated from Wilby High School in 1944 and immediately enlisted in the United States Navy, where he served for 22 months as a radar specialist in U.S. waters. He regaled his family with many wonderful memories of his time on the base in rural Virginia. This was when George first began a long time love affair with the people, food and landscape of the South. When he returned from the war he entered the University of Connecticut. This would be the beginning of his devotion to Husky basketball. He graduated with a BS in Insurance Administration. After graduation he worked for Prentice Hall Inc. and quickly became their number one salesperson in 1954.
In 1955, with a determination to strike out on his own, he opened the George Phelan Insurance Agency in Winsted, CT. In 1983 he merged his firm with Litchfield County Agency (LCA), consolidating his Winsted and Torrington offices with theirs. This company, now known as the Litchfield Insurance Group, is currently led by his oldest son, Robert (Bob) Phelan.
In the early 90's, with his wife's urging to not retire yet, George accepted a position, under then Governor, John Rowland as Project Manager of the Consumer Protection Dept. He was admired and beloved by many in the State offices during his time there.
Possibly the most poignant part of George's life began in the early 1950's. While mapping out his future, something unanticipated happened to him. He took a weekend respite from the city to the Berkshire Mountains of Egremont, MA to the Jug End Barn Resort. After a game of ping pong he became fixated on a striking brunette that was employed there for the summer season. It was love at first sight. Theirs was a cherished union that very few get to experience. His family was honored to witness their love and will forever hold the beauty and depth of it in their hearts. The couple moved to Norfolk, CT in 1960 and enjoyed many years there, specifically in the home they owned on The Village Green, where they lived until 2000. This was the house that George always considered his castle. This home brought him, and his entire family, many pleasure- filled memories for 25 years.
After his family, George's second love was golf. He was a member of the Norfolk Country Club, where he won four club championships, the Torrington Country Club and the Greenwoods Country Club. In 1970, he had the unusual distinction of being Club Champion at Norfolk and Greenwoods Country Clubs concurrently. He spent many idyllic afternoons on the greens of Hilton Head and Kiawah Island, S.C., demonstrating his putting prowess at Harbour Town and The Ocean Course. In addition his life-long love for golf rewarded him with three holes-in-one. George was a member of the Knights of Columbus, The Kiwanis Club and the Winsted Junior Chamber of Commerce. His most noted affiliation might be as a lifetime member of the Elks Club in Torrington where he could often be seen on Saturday afternoons enjoying a hand of Gin Rummy and the company of dear friends. George was a gentleman's gentleman. He had a kind heart, a quick wit and an eternal smile to offer all he greeted. He loved singing old favorite songs, the smell of a turkey in the oven, a fine parade, the smile of a baby, a good book, a winning slot machine and the sun shining on an emerald green fairway. However, there was no greater love in his life, than the love that he had for his family and his wife. He was a fiercely devoted husband, Father and Grandfather who will be sorely missed. We love you Dad-George-Grampa! You had a magnificent run and a big, beautiful life! We will see you on the 19th hole!
He leaves behind many loving family members including his wife, Phyllis Bishop Phelan of Southbury, CT, his daughters Karen B. Phelan of New Rochelle, NY, Lisa P. Sullivan (husband Scott Sinclair) of New Marlbourough, MA, Patti P. Sinclair (husband Michael Sinclair) of Norfolk, CT. sons Robert G. Phelan (wife Anne O. Phelan) of Canton, CT. and Timothy J. Phelan (wife Marie A. Phelan) of Sendai, Japan Grandchildren Molly, Quinn, Dan, Tim, Risa, Emi, Christopher, Alanna and Reid as well as two step grandchildren, Lauren and Brian. He also leaves behind his beloved sister Hermaline Pollard of Southbury, CT. and niece Susan Pollard of West Hartford.
He was predeceased by his infant son, Christopher Paul, his sister Ruth Phelan and younger brother John (Apples) Phelan.
Many thanks to Doctors Pannill, Flanagan, Chang and Kelly, Hospice Nurse Kris Jensen and Earth Angel Margaret Brown.
The family requests in lieu of flowers donations be made in his memory to Visiting Nurses Services of Connecticut (84 Oxford Road, Oxford, CT 06478), Heritage Village Ambulance, P.O. Box 2045, Southbury, 06488 or Sacred Heart Church, in care of Haiti Relief Fund, 910 Main St. South, Southbury, 06488.
A memorial Mass will be held at the , 910 Main St. South, Southbury, CT at 11 a.m. on Saturday March 31, 2012.
Calling hours will be held at the Southbury Funeral Home of Munson-Lovetere, 235 Main St. North, on Friday, March 30, 2012, from 4 - 8 p.m.