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Marguerite Phelps

August 25, 1915 - August 14, 2010


9:30-10:30 A.M. Wednesday, August 18 in Riverview Place Chapel, Fargo.

Funeral Service:

10:30 A.M. Wednesday, August 18 in Riverview Place Chapel, Fargo.


North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan ND.


Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo.

Marguerite Phelps

August 25, 1915 - August 14, 2010


Marguerite Ethel (Perl) Phelps, died August 14, 2010 just short of her 95th birthday. She was born to Henry and Ethel Perl on August 25, 1915 in St. Paul, MN where she graduated from Central HS and later the College of St. Catherine’s with a BS in library science.

In January, 1940, she accepted a position as librarian at Fargo Central HS and worked there until she married. At that time married women could not be employed by the Fargo public school system. She married W.R. Phelps of Fargo on April 7, 1947 during a blizzard (coincidentally, the 50th anniversary party of this event was cancelled due to a blizzard.) She was re-employed by the Fargo public schools from 1965-77 and was charged with cataloging books purchased under the Title II program for all Fargo schools.

Marguerite touched many lives through her involvement in numerous community activities and organizations. The family was charter members of Nativity Parish. Marguerite served as president of both St. Anthony and Nativity Guilds. She established the Nativity school library and was active in PTA, Cub Scouts, Camp Fire Girls and Catholic Daughters of America, among other organizations, while raising five children and keeping a generous inventory of cookies on hand. Later, she joined the Orested Brownson study club and volunteered many years for Holy Spirit Church and Birthright.

Marguerite and Bill loved to travel and were fortunate to visit many countries. They enjoyed local cultural events, especially the FM Symphony and MSU Straw Hat Players performances.

As a child of the depression and survivor of the flu epidemic, Marguerite instilled in her children the values of health and thrift. She also had a keen sense of justice for the underdog, which she passed along. She will be missed always and loved forever.

She is preceded in death by her loving husband of 59 years, William R. Phelps, and survived by her children; William Jr. (Sayre Weaver) of La Habra Heights, CA, Thomas of San Diego, CA, James (Virginia) of Manhatten, KS, John (Patricia Boylan) of Omaha, NE, Mary Anne (Antonio E. Rocha) of Augstin, TX, by grandchildren Janet (Paul) Goodman and William Patrick Phelps, by step-grandchildren Denise (Kelley) Crace, Nicholas (Angela) Rocha and Crissy (Trey) Frazier and five step-great granddaughters.

The family suggests memorial contributions to Hospice of the Red River Valley, Birthright, the Presentation Sisters, the Father Jack Davis Mission, or Riverview Place (Marguerites happy and supportive home for the last 11 years.)


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0 responses to “Marguerite Phelps”

  1. Marci Singel says:

    San Diego CATom,
    My deepest sympathies are extended to you and your family. What a lovely obituary portraying your mom’s full life. She sounds like everything you have described and more!

    I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

    God bless,

  2. Alan Vancil says:

    La Mesa CATom please accept our deepest symphony for the loss of you Mother. With emotions filled with love and understand for you and your family Christine and I extend our hands to you in this time of need. If there is anything we can do please let us know.

    Alan and Christine Vancil

  3. Margaret Bitz says:

    Fargo ND
    My condolences to the family of Marguerite. I am so sorry I missed her funeral having been out of town.

  4. Warren Meekins says:

    Tom, my thoughts and prayers are with you as you mourn your mother. I hope the memories of your time with her will help you in these difficult days.

  5. SU KIM says:

    San Diego CATOM
    I’M SORRY….!







  6. Therese Madsen Detmar says:

    Hudson WIWhat a dear woman your mother was! She was such a good friend to my mother, Mary Madsen. The M & M girls– I believe was how she referred to them. Your mother was also very kind to me during my husband’s illness and I received such a nice note from her when Scott died. I know she appreciated that I was a fellow “Katie” as she had fond memories of St. Catherine’s.
    My condolences.

  7. Mike Fridgen says:

    Coronado CAWhat a beautiful and remarkable woman! Now it is clear why our friend Tom is the man that he is.

    My thoughts and prayers are with Tom and the family. Your mother lived a long and fruitful life, and she has now joined your father and their Maker, forever.

    Having lost both of my parents in 1998, I can tell you that they never leave you….they always seem to be close by, and you feel their presence when you seem to most need it. As your parents, they will continue to guide and watch over you.

  8. Michael Amundson says:

    My condolences go out to the family of Marguerite.

    I had the honor of knowing her and will remember her as one of the kindest women I have met.

  9. Esther Ewell says:

    Tom and Family,
    My deepest sympathies go out to all of you. Your mom sounded like a wonderful woman.

  10. Alejandra Rocha says:

    Austin TexasI am the niece of Mary Anne Phelps and Tony Rocha. My husband, Luis, and I would like to offer our deepest sympathy for the loss of Mrs. Phelps. We know that you must have been shocked by her sudden passing and hope that the knowledge of her new resting place in heaven and the love and peace offered by our Lord Jesus Christ, for which our family is praying, will comfort you.

    May God bless you all.

    The Rocha – Vallejo Family

  11. Alejandra Rocha says:

    Austin TexasDear Phelps Family,

    I am Tony Rocha and Mary Anne Phelps’ niece. My husband, Luis, and I would like to offer our deepest sympathy for your loss of Mrs. Phelps. It is a true testament of love by Mary Anne and her siblings that they spent so much time with their mother. We know that it must have been a shock that Mrs. Phelps left you so suddenly, but what a wonderful and full life she did live.

    Our family is praying for you during this time of grief and are very sorry that we cannot attend her service today. May the peace and love of Our Lord Jesus Christ comfort you in your morning.

  12. Gary and Annette Rocha says:

    Austin TexasDear Manya, Tony and the Phelps family,
    We were deeply saddened to hear of your loss! We are praying for your comfort and peace during these stressful times. We love you and ask God to bless you all with what you need to get through this difficult time!
    Gary and Annette

  13. Jim Farren says:

    Jacksonville FLGod Bless you Tom. My Prayers are with you and your family to possibly help you get through this time of Grest Loss.
    You are a good son and your Mom is now in a better place. If you ever need to talk, just let me know.

    Be well and Hang in there


  14. Jodi O'Connor says:

    I’m also a friend of Tom’s from work, as well as a fellow North Dakota
    n. Tom, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Sure wish we could share a story about our trips back to North Dakota
    under better circumstances. So sorry for your loss.

  15. Howard & Alyce Crider says:

    Atwater CAMay god be with you.

  16. Joe Weigel says:

    Los Angeles CaliforniaDear Bill, Sayre, Tom, James, John, and Mary Anne:

    Your mother was a very special lady – always a warm heart and smile. She shared her love and concern with all whom she met. There was a special place in her heart for “her boys”, the ones who attended Cardinal Muench. I am so pleased that I had the opportunity to know and love your mother. My heart goes out to all of you at this most difficult time. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I am reminded of the words of Jesus: “I am the resurrection and the life, she who believes in me will never die. I will raise her up on the last day.” May God grant your mother and each of you the gift of his peace which is beyond our understanding. Peace and Love. Joe

  17. Timarie Bixler says:

    Escondido CAI did not have the honor of meeting Mrs Phelps, but knew she was a great lady from her son, Tom. Knowing what a wonderful person he is, I can imagine she was a brilliant soul. Love and sympathy to Tom and all the family.

  18. Tom Weigand says:

    San Diego CAMy heartfelt condolences to you and your family for your loss. My thoughts are with you. —Tom

  19. Cris Maves says:

    El Cajon CAI, too, am a friend of Tom’s through working together at NAVFAC SW (Navy). I was so sorry to hear of the loss of such a wonderful woman you were all so fortunate to call Mother and Grandmother. Tom, now I know why you spoke of her so often and so proudly in our office. What a magnificent Lady! I can certainly see where you acquired your perseverance, drive and determination. I’m also sure that she will live on forever in all of your hearts. Please know that you, your family and friends are in my thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time. May all of your loving memories of her comfort you & your family forevermore.

    My Deepest Sympathies

  20. Larry McIver says:

    Esxondido CATom

    Sorry for the loss of your mother. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Larry McIver

  21. Linda Pena says:

    So sorry for the loss of your beloved mother. May your cherished memories comfort you & your famiy through this difficult time.
    Deepest Sympathies,
    Linda Pena

  22. Gary & Cy Simon says:

    San Diego CARejoice in your grief, it is part of the healing process. Take some time for yourself and enjoy the gathering of your family and the many wonderful memories. It is a blessing that she went as suddenly as she did and did not linger. We look forward to your home coming and several more memorable evenings like last Thursday at a ball game and at my kitchen hearth burning incense in memory of our ancestors. Please accept our condolences and know that share your grief. Gary & Cy

  23. Hope Lewis says:

    I am a friend of Tom’s through work. I feel as if I know his mother by all the wonderful comments he has made about her. The compassion that Tom exhibits is a characteristic that I’m sure he has received from his mother. I only wish I could have met her in person. I’m sure there are many people who have become better individuals because of Marguerite Phelps. My thoughts and prayers are with all the family and friends that this woman has influenced in her life.

  24. Antoinette Perez says:

    Bonita CADear Tom Phelps and Family:

    I am truly sorry to hear about the loss of your Mother. Please accept my sympathy during this sorrowful time. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you all travel to take care of the service arrangements. Sincerely, Antoinette Perez

  25. GARY PENA says:

    San Diego CA Phelps Family,

    Sorry for your loss, at least now your parents are united forever.

  26. Mike Brady says:

    Poulsbo WAI knew of Mrs. Phelps through her son Tom who I work with for the Navy. Tom would call in on his many trips to North Dakota
    while visiting his Mom and give us updates on life in North Dakota
    (My dad was born there and we lovingly call it “God’s Country”) . I pass on my condolences to Tom and the Phelps family. I wish I would been able to meet Mrs. Phelps in person.

  27. Jeff Murdoch says:

    Edmonds WashingtonMy condolences. Marguerite was obviously a fine woman.

  28. Myron H. Bright says:

    Fargo ND
    Dear Bill and Sayre,

    I send my condolences on Bill’s mother’s death. But there are many consolations and good memories for her very long life.

    If and when in Fargo, please call. I send best regards.

    Myron H. Bright

  29. Ralph Dyrness says:

    Valley City North Dakota
    Bill, Tom and families,
    The sorrow of a loved one passing is only out done by the many wonderful memories that person created in the lives of those she so dearly loved. May each of you and your families continue to realize your mom and dad’s presence in your daily lives as you mourne the passing of your mom. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.
    In Christ’s Love,
    Ralph & Jean Dyrness

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