In memory of
Jerry Raymond Phelps Jerry Raymond (J.R.) Phelps of Tallahassee passed away on October 11, 2016. He was born in Columbus, Ohio, on July 20, 1943 and was preceded in death by his mother, Gertrude Phelps. His surviving father, Edgar Phelps, lives in Columbus Ohio. Jerry grew up in Bluefield WV where he graduated from Bluefield High School in 1961. He attended Marshall University in Huntington, WV where he met and married Nancy DeJournett. He graduated in 1966 from Marshall University and the couple moved to Columbus where Jerry joined National Electric Coil. J.R. began his career in the legal field by managing a law firm in Columbus but soon moved to Toledo, Ohio where he managed the law firm of Eastman Stitcher Smith and Bergman. While in Toledo, he was active in the Shrine organization marching in a Scottish bagpipe unit. During professional activities in the area of law office management, he was asked to join The Florida Bar to initiate a program called Law Office Management and Advisory Service (LOMAS) and the family moved to Tampa, Florida in 1980. He remained in that position until his retirement in March, 2009 with the exception of one year managing a law firm in Jacksonville, Florida. After returning to The Florida Bar in 1983, the management of LOMAS was moved to the Bar's home office in Tallahassee. J.R. developed and carried out management advisory services that were available to lawyers in Florida by frequently visiting law firms and providing leadership in a large numbers of local and statewide Bar events. Many other states modeled similar programs with Jerry's guidance. He was involved in many American Bar Association activities and was a frequent writer and speaker nationwide. He was the recipient of numerous awards including the Judge Walter Crumbley award for outstanding contribution in law office management services statewide and the Jay Foonberg award from the ABA's Law Practice Management section. During J.R.'s life in Tallahassee, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Florida Commerce Credit Union in 1996, served as Chairman 2001-2010 and retired from the Board in 2015 as Director Emeritus. He provided insightful leadership while it grew into a premier credit union for our community. In addition, he served on the advisory board for Tallahassee Community College's Legal Assisting program and was adjunct professor for a class in Law Office Management. He also was an adjunct professor in the law school at FSU teaching a class in Law Practice Management. After retirement, he served briefly on the Board of Directors for the YMCA and the American Cancer Society. Jerry is survived by his wife, Nancy DeJournett Phelps. Together they have three sons including Brian S. Phelps (wife Angelina) of the UK in the greater London area, David N. Phelps (wife Mindi) of Atlanta GA, and Robert A. Phelps of Tallahassee (wife LauraJane). There are four grandchildren including Alexander and Persephone Phelps of Tallahassee well as twins Nolan and Brayden Phelps of Atlanta. Jerry also has two brothers, Ronald and Richard Phelps, in Tampa, Florida. He had a wonderfully positive view of life even though he had to deal with serious health issues most of his adulthood. He frequently encouraged young people starting their careers either in the legal or financial field to utilize their talents and move forward professionally. Jerry was a role model for his three sons encouraging them as they grew. Fortunately, he and Nancy enjoyed many travel experiences over the years. Some were connected to professional opportunities within the legal or financial area. Other trips were to the UK and nearby places visiting with his son and his wife. Although there were many opportunities, the most notable experience was traveling to Russia seeing Brian's business operation in Moscow and attending the World Congress of credit unions in Rome. Jerry will be sorely be missed by family members but they are so thankful that he had the many useful and viable years despite continuing health problems. He is also leaving a large legacy for his work in the legal and financial fields. Memorial contributions are welcome to the American Cancer Society. No services are planned at this time.
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