Longtime Napa resident Eleanor Phelps-Steinman passed away Jan. 19, 2013, at a local care home following a lengthy illness. She was born in Big Oak Flat, Calif., near Yosemite, to Ernest and Rosa Braden DeFerrari on May 27, 1924.
After completing high school in Roseville, she eloped with her high school sweetheart, Herbert F. Phelps, in 1942. The family moved to Napa in 1952, and through the years, she worked as a retail clerk for several stores, including Mervyn’s, Montgomery Ward, J.C. Penny and Sears.
After Herbert’s death in 1988, she married Alfred Steinman. Alfred preceded her in death in 2008.
She used her artistic talents in many ways; she painted both pictures and toll work, and took pride in the fact that during one of several winter stays in Arizona, she taught a class in basket weaving to members of the Cocopah Indian tribe. She was a longtime member of St. John’s Lutheran Church.
In earlier years, she had been a member of the Ivy Rebekah Lodge, IOOF, the Napa Republican Women, and had enjoyed square dancing. With both of her husbands, Eleanor traveled extensively, whether it was in an RV or a trip through the Panama Canal, she enjoyed herself thoroughly.
Survivors include her daughter, Marleia Sire (Richard L.); her son, Michael Phelps (Bobbi); her sisters, Jan Thennis and Tomi Kintz; grandchildren Richard A. Sire, Jeffrey Sire, Shari Phelps, Jason Phelps and Jenny Phelps; great-grandchildren Isabella Phelps, Markeis Reed, Sumaiya Reed, Jeffrey Sire, Lain Sire, Kate Sire and Evan Sire. In addition to her parents and husbands, she was preceded in death by a brother, Robert DeFerrari.
Friends are invited to attend her services on Friday at 1 p.m. at Treadway & Wigger Funeral Chapel, with the Rev. Mark Heine of St. John’s Lutheran Church officiating. Friends may call at the funeral home beginning at 11 a.m. on Friday.
Donations in her memory are encouraged to Hospice of Napa Valley, St. John’s Lutheran Church or to a charity of the donor’s choice.