Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Obituaries

June 9, 2012

Norman Phelps, Jr.

LOCKPORT — After a brave battle with pancreatic cancer, Norman died as he lived, peacefully, at 8 PM on June 5, 2012, at Niagara County Hospice House. He was 52 years old.

He resided in the "Santillo House" in the city of Lockport for the past 20 years. He was married to Diane (nee Alessi) for 21 years (March 23, 1991).

The fourth of six children, Norman was raised on the family farm in Indian Falls, NY, where he learned many skills, including sewing on a treadle sewing machine. He was known for his excellent cooking--he liked to garden and can his own produce, and frequently hosted friends and family. (Neighbors fondly called his house the "Outwater Inn").

As a Peace Corps volunteer, Norman taught Costa Ricans to farm. He was a certified foster parent with the Niagara County Department of Social Services.

Norman always felt indebted to Mr. John Sackett of Byron, NY, a teacher who mentored him, believed in him and encouraged him to get his GED and attend college at Alfred.

Norman could fix just about anything, and he could often be found assisting friends and family with maintenance and repair projects. He loved travel and adventure. He especially enjoyed kayaking, boating and white water rafting. Norman had been to 21 states in addition to Hawaii, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Poland, Mexico, Cozumel, the Grand Cayman Islands and Costa Rica. He had plans to take his son sky diving on his 18th birthday.

Norman was a gentle soul who had a dry sense of humor and made it his lifestyle to help others.

Most recently, Norman was employed by the  Niacet Corporation in Niagara Falls, NY, as an industrial mechanic. Norman felt particularly indebted to his Niacet family for all of their       support - particularly during his ordeal these past eight months.

He was a member of the Lockport Christian Missionary Alliance Church, Lockport CARES homeless  shelter volunteer, American Red Cross blood donor and taught Sunday School at the First Baptist Church of Lockport.

Norman is survived by son, Daniel and daughter, Lydia Phelps; step-mother, Opal Phelps; four brothers, Paul (Diane) Phelps, Joel Phelps, Eric (Julie) Phelps, Karl (Tracey) Phelps and one sister, Hope (Mike) Gault.

He donated his body to the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Norman had a strong faith and great love for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which was especially apparent to all in the final eight months of his life as he bravely battled pancreatic cancer.

Homegoing Celebration at the Lockport Alliance Church on Saturday, June 16th at 3:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Norman's name may be sent to any of the following: The Benefit Account of Norman H. Phelps, Jr. c/o Citizens Bank, 5793 South Transit Road, Lockport, NY, 14094; or Lockport CARES, Inc., P.O. Box 586, Lockport, NY, 14095; or Dr. Howard Bruckner's Research Fund at the MZB Center for Cancer Research, 2330 Eastchester Road, Bronx, NY, 10469.

Online condolences can be left in the guest book at  www.caringbridge.org/visit/normanphelpsjr.

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