The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Frances Phelan


January 30, 2020

Frances Ann Phelan (LaFaive), 82, passed away on January 24, 2020 at Hospice Care in Longview, WA after a hard-fought battle with lung cancer. She was the wife of Mike Phelan who adored her during their 45 years of life together.

Frances was born in San Diego, CA to Francis "Tiny" and Marion LaFaive. As a single mom of two boys, she put herself through Bates Business School and worked in various office settings until she met the love of her life, moved to Cathlamet, WA, started a dairy farm on the island and added a beautiful daughter. Mike attributes their success in business and family to her hands-on approach, from milking cows to running their household, she never hesitated to get her hands dirty. Frances was a beloved member of Our Saviour's Lutheran Church where she was a long time Sunday School teacher. She led a 4-H group for years and loved to be around kids. She will always be remembered as a spunky and fun-loving woman who lived by the motto "a little powder, a little paint, makes a woman what she ain't" and never went anywhere without her hair and makeup done. She loved to play Cribbage with her friends, dance to country music, read, play spider solitaire, watch crime TV shows and spend time with her family. She enjoyed camping and horseback riding. She would make friends with anyone and was particularly drawn to vagabonds, gypsies and the eccentric. Within minutes of meeting her, people would be so comfortable they would share their entire life story. Most recently, if you asked Frances how she was doing...she would simply reply "well, I'm f*@king fabulous" and anyone that knew her...knew that was entirely true. She was most definitely a fabulous lady.

She is survived and cherished by her husband Mike, her sister JoAnne, her children and their spouses Ed (Aisha), Darrell (Pam), Jessica (Nick), grandchildren Trent, Shyanne, Ty, Natalie, Scarlett, Colby & Marissa, great-grandchildren Bostyn and Cash as well as nieces and nephews who considered her a second mom and countless friends and family. She is preceded in death by both of her parents, a brother Eugene LaFaive and an infant son Douglas Whittle.

A memorial and reception will be held at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Cathlamet, WA on Saturday, Feb 1st at 2:00. And per Frances' wishes, she wanted a party, so one will be held in her honor at their home following the memorial. Dowling Funeral in Cathlamet, WA will handle the celebration details and in lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in the name of Frances Phelan to Community Home Health Hospice in Longview at PO Box 2047, Longview, WA 98632.

- Paid Obituary -


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