Thomas "Tom" Webster Phelps

June 27, 1944November 13, 2013

Thomas Webster Phelps was born on June 27th 1945 in Los Angeles, California where he grew up. He was the second of three sons of Robert and Ellen Phelps.

Since his early childhood he was fascinated with airplanes, adventure and flying. After graduating from Granada Hills High School in 1962, he attended California Polytechnic College in San Luis Obispo leaning toward a career in engineering. However, it was there that he took his first flying lesson and wanted more than anything to get his private pilot’s license.

He had a wide range of interests during his life of which another one was art. After leaving Cal Poly he returned college in Los Angeles where he graduated with a degree in Commerical Art from Woodbury College. But flying was still his love and he continued to work toward his pilot’s license while finishing up school.

In 1970 he made his decision to join the United States Air Force and train to be a pilot. During the Vietnam War he worked for the Tactical Air Command piloting C-123’s in support of the ground operations in that country. Following the war he transferred to the Strategic Air Command to become an Aircraft Commander flying B-52’s all over the world.

It was during this time, while stationed on Guam, he met and fell in love with his future wife (Tammy Le Schmidt). They were married in 1973 and had the opportunity (as a military family) to be stationed at a variety of locations around the US.

After retiring from the Air Force in 1990, he and his wife purchased a home and settled in Sacramento, California.

After his wife’s passing, Tom spent time and effort volunteering with the local EAA Chapter 52 in a variety of capacities. He took a lot of pictures and loved working with kids at airshows as part of the Young Eagles program. The EAA provided him with many new friendships and kept him close to his love for airplanes and flying. He will be missed.

Tom was preceded in death by his wife Tammy and brother Richard Phelps. He was extremely proud of his son Jeff and his family: daughter-in-law Jennifer, and grandsons Hunter and Hayden that he leaves behind. He is also survived by his brother Jim, his wife Stephanie and their son Chris. Also, cousins Norm and Kimberly Timbs.

Services will be held on Thursday, November 21 at 1:00 p.m. at Mount Vernon Memorial Park.

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  • Graveside Service Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thomas "Tom" Webster Phelps

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GIll Wright

November 21, 2013


You have been a beacon of guiding light to so many in the community of aviation. Thank you for your help, service, and guidance to EAA Chapter 52 all these years that I have known you.

Safe travels in your spirit's journey.

Gill Wright, EAA 52 Board Member

November 20, 2013

We will miss you so much, Grandpa Tom.
Hunter and Hayden