Nila Rae Phelps

December 6, 1924 ~ May 10, 2023 (age 98) 98 Years Old


Nila Rae Phelps, 98, peacefully went home in the arms of Jesus on Wednesday, May 10, 2023. Nila Rae was born December 6, 1924, in Oberlin, Ohio to the late Eugene and Thelma Derrick. She is also predeceased by her husbands, Robert Harvey Brandow and Richard Willis Phelps, Sr., siblings, Elbert Derrick, David Derrick, Warren Derrick, and baby brother Joseph Derrick.

Nila Rae Phelps is survived and will be lovingly remembered by her sister Phyllis Hurlbert, children Bobbie Rae (Harry) Bisher, Douglas (Gail) Brandow, Cheryl Lee (David) Vought, and Debbie Jo (Henry) Schwarz, grandchildren Mark Gina, Gennee, Harry, Shalana, Shannon, Joshua, Jesse, Jonah, Heather, Levi, Luke, Ethan, Daniel, and David, and 33 great-grandchildren.

Nila Rae had a life-long passion for Christian missions, medical work and spiritual mentoring. She was a Registered Nurse and ran medical clinics in India where she and her husband, Robert, were missionaries. Later on, she worked at hospitals and nursing homes in the U.S. She was also involved with Christian education and spiritual mentoring in a number of churches pastored by Robert, both in Michigan and Colorado. After Robert passed away in 1992, Nila Rae married Richard Phelps of Binghamton, New York, where they were active members of Park Avenue Baptist Church. Richard passed away in 2013 and Nila settled in Pinellas County, Florida, and was a member of Missouri Avenue Baptist Church.

There will be a memorial service for her in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this Summer (time and date to be announced; please contact family if interested).

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