Elementary school teacher, grocery store co-owner, postal worker, wife, mother and grandmother accurately describe part of the life of Elizabeth May Mills Phelps. However, having lived to the grand age of 94 (deceased Jan. 6), Elizabeths life encompassed much more.
Born in Marion, N.C. on Sept. 7, 1914, to Thomas Chester Mills and Lilly May Forney Mills, Eliza May grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and moved to Los Angeles with her family at the age of 15 where she attended Los Angeles High School. Not long after coming to the west coast she met and married Elmo Phelps and together parented three daughters, Pat, Phyllis and Linda. Elmo and Elizabeth shared 38 years of marriage, and despite a divorce, they remained good friends until Phelps death in 1990.
Though educated at Chapman College having majored in sociology, Elizabeth worked in many fields. She was an elementary school teacher, a postal worker (1960-1972), and during World War II her family purchased a grocery store on the eastside of Los Angeles where she helped run the day to day operations from 1943-1961.
Elizabeth was an avid card player and enjoyed the games of Bridge, Bid Whist, Tonk, Bonanza and others. Socially, she was very active and was a member of the Oxfordettes, the Oxford Bridge Club, and during her college years, she became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Services for Mills Phelps were held Monday, Jan. 19 at Angelus Funeral Home with interment at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery in Carson. Leaving to honor her life are her three daughters, five grandchildren, three great grandchildren, several sons-in-law, numerous nieces, nephews, and other relatives. She was preceded in death by her parents, her ex-husband, a sister and two brothers.