Mary Ann Phelps

Published 11:01 am Wednesday, January 23, 2019

WILMINGTON, NC – Mary Ann Phelps, age 78, formerly of Ahoskie, passed away on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at home in the warm embrace of her family.

Mrs. Phelps was born on September 17, 1940 in Harrellsville, NC the daughter of Hugh Bazemore and Bertha Elmyra Willoughby Bazemore. She was the youngest of three children, with older sister Margaret and brother Hugh. She spent her youth surrounded by many cousins on Bazemore Road.

After graduating from Harrellsville High School, she attended East Carolina University where she graduated with a degree in Elementary Education. She began her lengthy teaching career in Elizabeth City, NC and remained fond of the area for the rest of her life. She married the love of her life, Russell Vastie Phelps, on August 12, 1967 and moved back home to Colerain, NC. She taught elementary education in public schools in Elizabeth City, Colerain, and Windsor, NC. She also spent many years teaching at Ahoskie Christian School in Ahoskie, NC.

In November 1976, she and Russ had their only child, Ann. In addition to being a wonderful teacher, she was a devoted mother and wife. After Ann graduated from Ridgecroft School and began her education at the University of North Carolina, Mary Ann retired. However, she was drawn back to the classroom, teaching adults to read at Roanoke-Chowan Community College. After the passing of Russ in 2002, and Ann’s graduation from Pharmacy School, she followed her daughter and son-in-law, Jimmy, to Wilmington, NC. She ultimately settled in Southport, NC and made many new friends. In 2007, she was blessed with her two grandchildren, boy/girl twins, Addison and Gavin. As wonderful of a mother she was, Mary Ann was equally devoted to her grandchildren. They hold fond memories of all of the times they’ve spent with her and will miss her dearly.

Mary Ann was passionate about her faith, family, and friends. She loved being a part of young people’s lives and could not have chosen a more appropriate career. She also loved traveling, Atlantic Beach, NC and many sports. She always rooted for her ECU Pirates, but Ann helped sway her to love anything UNC. She could often be found watching baseball on TV, most frequently the Chicago Cubs. However, her most favorite activity was watching Addison and Gavin in whatever activity they were participating.

Mary Ann is preceded in death by her parents, Hugh and Bertha Bazemore; sister, Margaret Willoughby Bazemore Callis, and husband Russell V. Phelps.

She is survived by her daughter, Ann Wilson and son-in-law Jimmy; two grandchildren, Addison and Gavin; brother, Hugh (wife Merle); and many cousins, nieces and nephews that she loved dearly.

The family will receive friends from 1:00 pm until 1:45 pm on Friday, February 1, 2019 at Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service, Ahoskie, NC with a memorial service to follow at 2:00 pm in the Chapel of Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service.

Online condolences may be directed to the family by visiting