Glenys Ivy Jones Phelps, a 20 year resident of Gridley, died unexpectedly at her home on April 10th. She was 92 years of age and had been in declining health for several years. At her request there will be no services. A family gathering and memorial service to honor her life is being planned. Her ashes will be placed in a family plot in the Bay Area.
Glenys was born 12/14/1921 in Porth, S.Wales, UK. She was the eleventh of 13 children born to Thomas and Mary Jane Hurdidge. Only 9 of those children reached adulthood. In 1938 she met William Owen Jones - a career soldier in the British Army. His Regiment (Kings Shropshire Light Infantry) had been called back to England from its deployment in India. Many of the returning troops were billeted in civilian homes - including the Hurdidge residence. "Bill" and Glenys were married in 1939 just as England went to war with Germany. She was widowed in 1943 and was left to raise two young sons. Later that year she moved from Shrewsbury ( Shropshire) to Croydon (near London). She began working for the British Government in London and remained at that job throughout the remainder of the war and continued until late 1951.
In mid 1951 Glenys met and married Thomas (Tommy) Phelps - who had emigrated from Wales to the U.S. in 1925. He had become a US Citizen and had returned to England to visit family and friends. He returned to the US while Glenys began the process for immigration to America. In December of 1951 she and her two boys travelled by ship from England to New York and then by train across country to Crockett in Contra Costa County. She immediately began Citizenship Classes and she and her two sons proudly became American citizens. She went to work as a secretary at a local Chamber of Commerce. In 1955 she began nursing classes at a local Jr. College. She became a Licensed Vocational Nurse in 1957 and began a long nursing career that included many years with the Veterans Administration. She was a tireless and dedicated worker and received frequent recognition for her innovative and astute suggestions regarding nursing procedures and job efficiencies. She retired from the VA in 1989. She and Tommy were married for 42 years and were able to travel widely in the U.S and overseas. When Tommy passed away in 1993 she moved to Gridley.
Glenys lived a long and eventful life. She was clearly a child of the depression . She was delightful to talk to and had many stories to tell about her childhood in a large family that was poor. Her father was a Welsh coal miner who was displaced when Winston Churchill convinced the British Navy to switch from coal to bunker oil. Some of her older sisters left home to work as domestics in other parts of England and in Canada. The war years brought widowhood, bombing, buzz bombs, incendiaries, bomb shelters, fire and destruction, rooftop fire watches, rationing etc. She was an excellent student whose formal education ended due to her early marriage. But she was an intelligent and astute woman, an avid reader and for her entire life learning never stopped. She had a beautiful singing voice reflective of her Welsh heritage. She loved children and was a wonderful teacher. She suffered fools lightly and was not noted for her tact.
Page 2 of 2 - Glenys is survived by her sons William Jones (Alisa) of Granite Bay, Gordon Jones (Sonya) of Gridley and step-children Clifford Phelps (Ruth) of Grass Valley and June (Phelps) Goico of New York. She leaves 12 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, 3 great-great grandchildren, one sister and numerous nieces and nephews living variously in England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Germany.
The family would like to thank Dr. Maralee Bowers and Dr. Eugene Moffett for their kindly attention to our mothers medical needs. Also, we must acknowledge the excellent companionship and care provided by care-givers Marilyn Clausen and Pam Alexander, the attention and friendship of her neighbors , and the continued contacts from the Sensations group of the Presbyterian Church - with special thanks to Dolores Slagle.