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Janet Ann Dowd-Phelps

Posted February 17, 2014 in Obituaries

October 17, 1936 – February 14, 2014

Janet Dowd-Phelps

Janet Dowd-Phelps

Janet Ann (Dixon) Dowd-Phelps, age 77 of Moravia, Iowa entered into eternal life on Friday, February 14, 2014.

She was born on October 17, 1936 to Robert M. and Susie (Martin) Dixon of Winfield, Missouri. Janet grew up on a farm, attended rural country school, Winfield High School, and then Northeast Missouri State University in Kirksville, Missouri. She graduated from college with a degree in elementary education.

In 1960, Janet moved to southern Iowa where she was hired as Church and Community Worker for Appanoose County. She served 14 rural United Methodist Churches. It was at a church meeting in Centerville that she met Delmar Dowd. They married on August 11, 1962. They became the parents of three daughters: Martha, Laurie and Julie. In addition to their careers in education, Janet and Delmar owned and operated a row crop and hog farm. Delmar passed away in 1980.

Janet was a long time elementary teacher at Moravia Elementary School, teaching primarily first grade. She loved teaching her students to read and wanted them to love reading. She retired from teaching in 1996. Her love for teaching continued as she taught Sunday school classes and played classroom with her grandchildren.

In 1997, Janet married Ken Phelps. Together, they enjoyed traveling, gardening, attending the Amish market, and wintering in Texas. Always on the go for many years, they were particularly fond of the autumn leaves and traveled to different parts of the country to experience that beauty.

Janet was a woman of strong faith who spent much of her time volunteering for Grace United Methodist Church where she served as Christian Education Director for a number of years. She also was a member of P.E.O. Chapter KA. Janet was known for her appearances at auctions and garage sales, where she was always looking for a bargain. She was a loyal friend, and was always available for a phone call or chat over a cup of coffee. She was also the first person to arrive with a meal if someone was ill or just needed a friend.

Most of all, Janet was a devoted mother to her three girls and her two son-in-laws. She also loved being a grandmother to her five grandchildren. She enjoyed hearing of their adventures and accomplishments and considered attending their activities among her favorite trips.

Janet’s memory will be treasured by her family, including her husband Ken Phelps of Moravia; daughters Martha Dowd of Des Moines, Laurie Gowdy (Kevin) of Melbourne and Julie Baty (Jim) of Mt. Vernon; grandchildren Trevor, Trenton, and Tessa Baty; and McCade and Jannie Gowdy. Also missing her will be her sister Linda Vail (Jim) of Ballwin, Missouri, four stepdaughters Cindy (Howard) Snider; Barbara (Mike) Beason; Diane (Mike) Frantz; Susan (Craig) Wolf; nine step grandchildren; and fifteen step great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 11 AM, Monday, February 17, 2014 at Grace United Methodist Church in Moravia, Iowa with Reverends Cindy Finn and Kevin Gowdy officiating. A private family burial will be held prior to the funeral service. A visitation will be held on Sunday at Lange Funeral Home in Moravia from 2-8 PM, with the family present from 5-8 PM. Memorials have been established to either the Grace United Methodist Church, Red Bird Missionary Conference or The Neuro Foundation (Provides support for those affected by neurofibromatosis) and may be given to Lange Funeral Home. Condolences may be shared online at

Information provided by:
Lange Funeral Home
1900 South 18th Street
Centerville, IA 52544

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