Lee Meredith Phelps
March 2, 1927 – April 19, 2017
Lee Meredith Phelps, 90, of Lake Belton, died peacefully on Wednesday morning April 19. Services will be held Wednesday, April 26 at 11:00 AM at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Temple.
Lee was born on March 2, 1927 to Rice and Mary Phelps. His parents died when he was a toddler, and he was sent to live with his uncle Cecil and Dorothy Phelps. Cecil was a railroad station master in Dublin, Temple and Ft. Worth, so travelling the rail system was in his blood. When Lee was young, he played clarinet in the high school band from 6th grade – always 1st chair. He graduated from Temple High School in 1945 as a member of MENSA, and went into the Navy for 4 years before heading off to the University of Texas to study engineering. He worked at USPS while at UT and was a witness to the tower shooting. As an innovative early computer engineer, he was proud of his work leading the Texas Railroad Commission. But his most proud and enjoyable work came at Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University), where he and his group of “brainiacs” (Dr. Henry McEwen, Bob Kerley, Don Volz, Artie, Jeff, and many others) designed and implemented the first computer “pointer” – now called computer links. Lee met the love of his life, Bobbie, on May 26, 1949. She came home from a date and he was playing bridge with her parents. The next day, they had lunch and got married. He took her home and 10 days later, knocked on her door to see if she still wanted to be married and she said yes – again. They moved to Austin that day. Thirteen years later, they had their daughter, Casie. Lee was a very kind and loving husband and father. His life centered around his “girls”. He and Bobbie had 67 blissful years of marriage and his love and devotion to Bobbie was remarkable. So much so that he followed her in death in 10 short months. After retirement, Lee and Bobbie moved to Lake Belton to enjoy life and travel. Those years were filled with joy. His many friends and activities kept them busy. From being an avid UT football fan to his Whiskey Wednesday club, he was always active. Lee was sweet and generous – a true man among men. Lee’s faith was always an important part of his life. He was a proud member of St. Francis Episcopal Church. Thank you to Father Brad St. Romain, Deacon Tamara Clothier and dear Frances for all of your loving support and guidance. Please make all memorial contributions to St. Francis Church. The staff of Scott & White CCH and main hospital was amazing throughout his stay. Their compassion and professionalism was unmatched. Thank you to every nurse and physician that cared for my father, and especially those that cried with me. Lee is preceded in death by his wife, Bobbie. He is survived by his daughter, Casie Phelps, his grandsons, Alec and Brendan Pegg, their father Doug Pegg, his God-daughter Missy Barber, his “second daughter” Barbara Sorge, and George Smidt.
Arrangements under the direction of Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home, Temple, TX.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Lee Meredith Phelps
April 26, 2017
Casie, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Your dad was an enormous influence on me. He provided me with my first job in information technology and it's fair to say he jump-started my career.
I was extraordinarily fortunate to be one of five student programmers your dad hired in 1974 to develop new information systems for then Southwest Texas State University. I was again extremely fortunate 14 years later to be asked to fill Lee's shoes upon his retirement from the university. Only then did I begin to appreciate just how much he'd taught me in that short amount of time.
He taught me about personal accountability for one's work, about working to live and not living to work, and about leading and motivating work colleagues to care about each other as well as their work. He taught me that the occasional office prank was a good way to decompress a high-stress environment, and he was a master prankster.
Lee was fiercely loyal to his staff and they were equally loyal in return, for he was quick to praise them in public while reserving his criticism for more private moments. He was also an optimist in the face of difficult choices and always encouraged me to "give a good thing a chance to happen." That phrase has served me well over the last 40 years.
Lee Phelps was an enormous blessing to me - I will never forget him.
April 25, 2017
What a wonderful neighbor! We will miss him. Denise and Mark
April 25, 2017
Casie I am sorry for your loss. I have great memories of your dad.
April 22, 2017
Glyn & I are so sorry for your loss. Glyn and Lee were classmates in Temple and have many happy memories with Lee and Bobby.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
April 21, 2017
I was blessed to have had the opportunity to meet Mr. Phelps, and in the short time ,God Bless his kind soul.A new Angel Has Entered God's Kingdom.