Ron Phelps, 57, was born in Kansas City, Mo. and raised in Stilwell, Kan. He died on Nov. 2 at the Circle of Life Hospice Home in Springdale after losing his battle with pancreatic cancer.
A plumber by trade, Ron completed a five-year apprenticeship program for Tip Top Plumbing and Heating in Kansas City, and was a member of the United Association of Plumbers' Local #8. He spent the next several years gaining hands-on experience in mechanical construction, specializing in automotive paint and support systems.
In 1978, Ron joined U.S. Engineering Company as an on-site Plumber Field Superintendent. That led to more than a decade of supervising projects at Whiteman AFB; Ford Motor Company in Claycomo, Mo., Louisville, Ky. and St. Louis, Mo.; General Motors at plants in Oklahoma City, Lordstown, Ohio, Shreveport, La., Lake Orion, Minn. and Van Nuys, Calif.; Chrysler in St. Louis, Mo.; and Lockheed Aerospace in Marietta, Ga.
In 1995, Ron moved to Eureka Springs and subsequently acquired his Arkansas electrical license.
Ron's friends were his family. He's survived by his long-time companion, Debbie Frisbie, and his best friends, Butch Martin, Mel Shipley, Kevin Quinn and Butch France.
They all have stories to tell of the many times Ron helped them and others. He was a loyal friend and a member of the Holiday Island Elks Club. Even in death, Ron is still helping others, having donated his body to medical science.
A memorial event will take place at a later date. Ron asked that any memorial donations be made to the Good Shepherd Animal Shelter.