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Carolyn Alda Phelps, 92, of Monmouth, IL, passed away at 1:37 a.m., Thursday, May 5, 2022 at Monmouth Nursing Home, Monmouth, IL.
She was born August 14, 1929 in Monmouth, IL, the fourth of six children to Samuel and Laura (Work) Phelps. She was raised and educated in Monmouth graduating from Monmouth High School.
Carolyn attended Monmouth College where she was named to Tau Po Chapter of Mortar Board and the music honorary Pi Alpha Nu, graduating in 1954. She also attended Western Illinois University and later earned her Master’s from the University of Illinois while teaching at Rantoul.
Teaching, music and travel were her life. She started teaching in one room schools in rural Warren County. After graduating from Monmouth College, she taught piano lessons in a United Presbyterian Mission School, PMI, in Assiut, Egypt. Later she taught in United States Air Force dependent schools in France and Japan. Her last 24 years were in Rantoul teaching mostly Air Force children until the Chanute base closed in 1993. She visited all fifty states, six different continents, living and teaching on four. The only continent she never visited was Antarctica.
Carolyn was a member of Champaign County Home and Community Education serving local positions of chairman, music leader, international chairman and serving on the county board as treasurer. She joined the Champaign County Retired Teachers’ Association and served as Calling Chairman for fifteen years. She was named Champaign County Retired Teacher of the year in 2009. She also played Parkland Community Band for fifteen years.
In Rantoul, she was a member and elder of the Presbyterian Church serving as a clerk of session for forty-one years. She directed the choir for twenty-three years and was an organist or pianist for thirty-eight years. After moving back to the Monmouth area, she became a member of Faith United Presbyterian Church.
Survivors include her sister, Marjorie Powers of Mount Morris, IL. Also surviving are fourteen nieces and nephews and many great-nieces and nephews including twin great-niece and nephew, twin great-nieces and twin great-great-nephews.
Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents; one brother David Phelps; sisters, Jean Edwards, Peg Noakes, and Edna Carlson; sister-in-law, Marjorie Phelps; and brothers-in-law, Willard Powers, Gerald Carlson, Alfred Noakes, and Roy Edwards.
Memorial Services with interment in Monmouth Cemetery will be at a later date. Cremation rites have been accorded. Memorials can be made to Faith United Presbyterian Church of Monmouth or to a charity of the donor’s choice. McGuire & Davies Funeral Home and Crematory, Monmouth, IL, is in charge of the arrangements. For more information or to leave an online condolence please visit, www.mcguireanddaviesfuneralhome.com.