Donald Phelan, 89

Donald E. Phelan, 89, of West Bend, went home to be with his lord and savior on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, at the Cedar Lake Rehabilitation Center surrounded by his loving family.

Donald was born on Feb. 5, 1926, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to the late Edward and Ethel (nee Archer) Phelan. Donald was united in marriage to Eileen Phelan on Oct. 10, 1947, in Murlin Heights, Ohio. Donald attended Butler High School in Dayton, Ohio, and graduated from the University of Dayton with a bachelor of mechanical engineering on June 9, 1951.

Donald was employed for 44 years in the Electrical Production Division at the A.O. Smith Corporation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was a very successful regional and global sales manager, achieving many awards and accomplishments.

Donald was a person who thoroughly enjoyed being with family, friends and acquaintances. He lived his life to the fullest as a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and citizen in private, professional and volunteer endeavors as a communicator, listener, confidant, mentor, teacher, adviser, coach and leader. Donald inspired, challenged and guided through conversation, provoking thought as a stabilizing presence in the lives of many who were so blessed and fortunate to have known him.

Donald enjoyed and promoted a diverse variety of sports and activities and pursued them with disciplined perfection for technical understanding and implementation. He lived and promoted an active lifestyle golfing, running, water skiing, downhill snow skiing, bicycling, P90X, walking, throwing darts and traveling, all of which surrounded him and his family with so many wonderful friends and acquaintances.

Donald developed an extreme passion for downhill skiing. He was an accomplished skier for 55-plus years up to the age of 87 and continued to be involved with fellow ski associates until his passing. Donald contributed countless hours to promoting the sport of skiing through evolution of teaching techniques, authoring many training manuals. He achieved Level 3 Certified Ski Instructor credentials, including Certified Ski Instructor Examiner. He was awarded honorary life time member in the national PSIA Certified Ski Instructors Association and through his tireless work as CPSIA Executive Secretary. His involvement and accomplishment included travel to many skiing locations which afforded many wonderful, memorable and enriching family skiing trips across the country.

Donald was an active member of Our Savior’s, Northbrook and Kettlebrook churches. He was involved in leading and participating in bible study groups.

Those Donald leaves behind to cherish his memory include his five children, John (Deb) Phelan of West Bend, Leigh Anne (Roman) Lichon of West Bend, Susan (Michael) Doll of Cedarburg, Jody (Terry) Elston of Layton, Utah, and Jennifer (Terry) Benz of Jackson; seven grandchildren, Julie (Andrew) Schumacher, Jamie (Reed Nygren) Lichon, Jason (Kahlie) Benz, Jena (Nick) Faber, Justin, Joshua, and Andrea Jordan; and three great-grandchildren, Jaiden Fox Schumacher, Addison Emma Rose Schumacher and Teaghan Marie Benz. Survived by many close relatives and dear friends from skiing and other associations.

A memorial service and celebration of his life in honor of Donald will be held on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, at Northbrook Church, 4014 Highway 167, Richfield. Visitation will be at the church from 4-6 p.m. on Friday. The memorial service will begin at 6 p.m. and a reception will follow the service. Cremation took place at the Myrhum-Patten Funeral & Cremation Service of West Bend.

Memorials to the American Heart Association (AHA) and Cedar Community Foundation in honor of Donald’s final resting place will be greatly appreciated by the family.

Very special heartfelt thanks to Dr. Robert Gibson, Dr. Jeffery Smale and the tireless, understanding, compassionate nurses and all doctors contributing to his care at St. Froedtert Joseph’s Community Hospital, Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin, Aurora St Luke Medical Center, Cedar Crossings and Cedar Community Health and Rehab.

Online guest book and condolences may be found at