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David Michael Phelan

May 10, 1931 - June 4, 2024

U.S. Veteran

Dave was will be buried alongside his wife at Amawalk Cemetery in Yorktown Heights, NY

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David Michael Phelan, 93, a longtime resident of Westport and Madison, Connecticut, died peacefully on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, near family in Massachusetts. Born in the Bronx, NY, he was the son of Anne Margaret O’Connor Phelan who worked as a maid in Manhattan, and David Ignatius Phelan who labored in manufacturing and construction, and older brother to Joan Phelan Mostert, who died July 27, 2005

Dave was one of the inaugural students in the Class of 1949 at Fairfield Prep in Fairfield, Connecticut, before going to college, law school, and graduate school at Villanova University, Fairfield University, Catholic University, Georgetown University Law Center, and New York University School of Law. Dave, the first in his family to go to college, put himself through school, laboring in manufacturing, ice cream sales, and as an aide in a funeral home, earning an academic scholarship to Fairfield Prep then paying his way through college and graduate school, working during school until the money ran out, withdrawing from school, and then returning after earning enough to continue his education.

Dave served on active duty in the U.S. Army, Judge Advocate General Corps, from 1956 to 1959 and continued in the US Army Reserve until 1991, retiring as a Colonel.  While stationed in Berlin, he met and married the love of his life, Doris Ehlert Phelan, a Berlin roller-skating champion. Together, they started a family. She died far too early, at the age of 29 in 1971. Dave never remarried and focused on raising their three children while working first for a law firm in Washington, D.C., then as international counsel at Richardson-Merrill/Richardson Vicks first in New York, then in Wilton, Connecticut.   

David leaves behind three adult children — Stephanie Phelan of Bennington, VT; Michael Phelan of Washington, D.C.; and Andy Phelan of Holliston, MA — along with their spouses, Guy, Laura, and Kim, and his seven grandchildren, Anastasia, Eamonn, Grace, Lily, Ryan, Shelby, and Peter.    

Dave was buried with his wife Doris at Amawalk Cemetery in Yorktown Heights, NY, where they first lived as a young family in a home of their own design. Together again, at long last. In lieu of flowers or donations, spend some time with family and friends whom you have not seen in a while!