Jill Barton Phelps died peacefully at home on December 29, 2020 at age 61. She was a loving wife, mother and friend who will be missed dearly.
Born to William and Donna Barton on July 9, 1959 in Bradford, Pennsylvania, Jill was the youngest of six children. In 1966, the Barton family moved from Smethport, Pennsylvania to Satellite Beach, Florida, a seaside paradise where Jill would grow up, fall in love, and build a beautiful life.
Jill married Hugo Lee Phelps Jr. (Lee) on June 18, 1983 at their Satellite Beach home. On July 26, 1985, they welcomed their daughter, Autumn. Jill was a homemaker who devoted her life to her family.
Jill was a talented artist. Her mother-in-law, Sophie, got her hooked on basket weaving shortly after she met Lee. She spent many long days weaving out in the sun by the pool, and her creativity and hard work earned her many awards at art shows over the years. She enjoyed gifting her baskets to family and friends. Later on, Jill also took up stained glass as a hobby.
Lee and Jill loved hosting gatherings with family and friends in their backyard. From their wilder parties as 20-somethings to birthday parties and many other special occasions, there was always something to celebrate by the pool. She was happiest soaking up the sun on a pool floatie with a frozen daquiri in hand.
She was a tender family woman but also tough. Jill always stood up for what was right. In the 1990s, she became an activist who raised awareness of environmental toxins in the South Patrick Shores neighborhood. She went door-to-door petitioning to remove a radar station that was sending potentially harmful signals through local homes. She fought the federal government and won.
Jill fought her own battles too. When she had a massive heart attack in 2005, doctors said she might not survive. She proved them wrong and lived to meet her granddaughters.
Jill is preceded in death by her father, William Barton, mother, Donna Jean Okerlund Barton Hastings, and stepfather, Melvin Hastings. She is survived by her husband, Hugo Lee Phelps Jr., daughter, Autumn Shrum (Walter), granddaughters, Summer Shrum and Melody Shrum, brother, Bart Barton, sister, Bonnie Morgan (Kyle), brother, Greg Barton (Alisa), sister, Vanessa Davidson (Rex), brother, Jeff Barton (Cheryl), stepsister, Linda Hastings, stepsister, Deb Hurwitz, stepbrother, Leon Hastings, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A celebration of Jill’s life will be planned at a later date when it is safer for gatherings. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her honor to St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care.
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