Cover photo for Martha Jean Phelps's Obituary
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Martha Jean Phelps

Martha Jean (Burkett) Phelps entered this earth February 28, 1946 through God’s love to parents Milton and Glenna Burkett in Sidney, Ohio. She was welcomed and adored by her brother, Wendell and sister, Rita. Family and friends have watched her grow and develop her God given gifts that have inspired us all.

Jean worked as a preschool teacher at Sunshine Preschool in Plainwell, at The ARK Preschool at the Otsego Church of God, as well as Basic Life Skills tutor at Otsego Public School. She also taught Sunday school and helped with the children’s musicals. She loved connecting with her family, friends, and classmates. Cooking, baking, and tending to her flower gardens were her specialties. Jean loved caring for those in need, giving of herself continually and sacrificially for their wellbeing. She was guardian and caretaker for her grandson, Charles for 35 years, participating in his programs with special support staff.

Jean left this earthly home to her heavenly home that God has prepared for her on May 30, 2023. We will all miss her greatly, but will be inspired by her sense of humor and sharing God’s love in random acts of kindness.

Surviving is her husband, Ron Phelps; her children, Lee (Maria) Slentz, Melissa (Jeffery) Hucko and Ronnie Phelps; her grandchildren, Stephanie (Alec) Hucko, Charles Oisten, Alyssa (Jared) Hucko and Jasmine (Trevor) Hopkins; her great-granddaughter, Bianca Hopkins; sister, Rita (Jim) Arnsman; and her sister-in-law, Dee Burkett along with her many beloved nieces, nephews and extended family members.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Milton Burkett and Glenna (Worden) Burkett; daughter, Laureen Jean and her brother, Wendell Burkett.

According to her wishes cremation has taken place.

Please join Jean’s family for a time of fellowship and refreshments starting at 10:00 A.M., Saturday, June 3, 2023 at the Otsego Church of God, until the time of the memorial service at 11:00 A.M., with Pastor Stephen Burrow officiating.

Burial of ashes will take place at Mountain Home Cemetery in Otsego at a later time.

Contributions in memory of Jean may be made to Otsego Church of God for children’s ministries which will include Warner Memorial Youth Camp.

Messages of condolence may be posted at

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Condolence Messages

Marla Augustine

June 1, 2023 at 9:49 am

I knew Jean from our preschool teaching years. Such a great lady. I’m sure she will be truly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Marla Augustine.


Archer Woodstock

June 1, 2023 at 12:00 pm

Saddened when we received this news. Remember the times we had together growing up in the Worden Family. Wonderful lady of faith and love. We will join with others in prayers of comfort for each of you.

Sandy Woodstock


Charles and Sandra Morehouse

June 1, 2023 at 12:39 pm

Jean and I go way back, she was my first girlfriend, she will be missed and remembered

Charles Morehouse


Penny Baker

June 1, 2023 at 1:23 pm

Brokenhearted for loss of this great gift from God.

Penny Pulver Baker



June 1, 2023 at 3:35 pm

Thank you


Dave and Jeanne Myers

June 1, 2023 at 6:11 pm

Thinking of you, Rita, and family. We remember what good friends your parents were with Dave’s folks. My God bless you with all those good memories.

Dave and Jeanne Myers


Chastity Patrick

June 1, 2023 at 6:19 pm

Sorry to hear of the loss of Jean. I had her for a pre school teacher at the ark and was friends with Jasmine and Charles in middle school and we played at her house. She was alway a friendly sweet lady.


Kathi Fuss

June 1, 2023 at 6:44 pm

Sending my love, thoughts and prayers to you, Rita and your family . Jean and I had many talks over many years . ✝️✝️


Bianca Hopkins

June 1, 2023 at 6:48 pm

She was my grandma bur not by blood I will miss her so much and it is heart breaking to know that she is dead and did not be able to celebrate by my birthday on 5•29•23 I loved her so much I miss truly miss u


Kassie Rodino

June 1, 2023 at 8:34 pm

So very sorry for your loss! I was very lucky to get to know her, Charles and the whole family! Prayers for peace!

Kassie Rodino


Georgia Newman

June 1, 2023 at 10:56 pm

Rita, thinking of you and Jim and all of Jeanne’s family at this difficult time. Her picture looks just as pretty as I remember her as a young girl. Praying God comforts each of you with wonderful warm memories.



June 2, 2023 at 7:37 am

Miss Jean’s Family,

Miss Jean was such a wonderful preschool teacher at the Ark. She helped shape a lot of young children’s lives. I know some of my child’s success (currently a teacher) is due to the positive, friendly, teaching’s of Miss Jean. May she Rest In Peace and her family find comfort from God and the many people that Miss Jean’s life touched.


Connie Jean Arnsman

June 2, 2023 at 12:03 pm

Heartbroken…Loved her dearly and she will be so missed. Resting in heaven is a true angel.❤


The Reeds

June 2, 2023 at 5:43 pm

Rest in peace, Jean! You and your family and Grandma Theresa were the sweetest neighbors when we lived in Otsego. My sister and I enjoyed babysitting with Lee and Melissa when they were young kids, and Theresa became our bonus

G-ma. May God comfort all of Jean’s family as you mourn her loss and celebrate her life.

Our condolences,

The Reeds



June 2, 2023 at 8:46 pm

Where do I start with my wonderful Aunt Jean

You were a gift to many of us. So kind and loving , fun and funny.

Thank You for all the years of letters you wrote me and all the times you checked on me and my children , also all your prayers !!

You were extremely special to me and I always felt close to you.

That’s who you were , an amazing , strong , loving woman ..who took time for others , helped people , cared deeply.

I already miss you ❤️

I know God’s hugging you tight.

I will never forget you

Love You


Linda Leafdale

June 2, 2023 at 11:21 pm

Jasmine, Trevor and Bianca,

We are so sorry for your loss. Praying for comfort during this difficult time. She will be a beautiful Angel, as she was a beautiful lady here. Cece loved visiting with her and going for ice cream. She will be missed. Big hugs from all of us.


Judy Gates Hayes

June 2, 2023 at 11:24 pm

Jean from the time I met you I knew you were amazing. Thank you for taking care of my daughters at Sunshine Preschool and at The Ark. To Jeans family she was one in a million. Keep her memories close to your heart and she will be with you always. Love Judy Gates Hayes



June 3, 2023 at 8:56 am

To Jean’s family,

We are sorry to hear of Jean’s passing. She was a sweet classmate and I always enjoyed seeing her at our class luncheons. To know she is now with her Jesus is a true comfort.

Gif Bless,

John and Diane Glessner


Doreen Cogar

June 3, 2023 at 9:23 am

I’m thankful for God’s love and Sovereignty to have brought Jean into my life as a young person. She was kind, she loved Jesus and people well!

Her heart to be present and share her God given talents with children and her family was wonderful! My condolences to Ron, Lee, Melissa, Rita, Jim and her family members as you remember Jean. Hold those precious memories and remember she’s resting and healed in the arms of her Savior she loved so much, well done, Good and Faithful servant.


Eric dendel

June 3, 2023 at 4:54 pm

Melissa and Lee

So sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. I have many fond memories of being neighbors growing up.



Debra Smith

June 4, 2023 at 1:30 pm

We will truly miss Jean. Our support person with our boys.

Debra and Adam


Debbie (Denniston) Mayer

June 4, 2023 at 10:15 pm

The Denniston family sending our condolences. Lifting you up in prayers as you grieve the loss of your mother, sister, wife and friend.


Rick steinke

June 5, 2023 at 7:47 am

I’m so sorry the hear about your Mom she was a great lady and will dearly missed. My condolences to the family


Candy Gray

June 22, 2023 at 9:09 am

So sorry to hear of Jean’s passing. She was the pre-school teacher to all 4 of my children. We became friends over the years. I was so glad to see her last summer at Northside Park and reconnect. Deepest sympathies to her family. She was a kind and great lady. Heaven has gained another angel. R.I.P. my friend.


Cathy L Maurer

June 30, 2023 at 8:30 pm

I just recently learned of Jean’s passing into Heaven . Jean and I met at Dix Street Elementary many years ago. When I decided to open Sunshine Preschool, there was no doubt that I wanted Jean to enter into this adventure with me. If not for Jean; her enthusiasm, caring, sense of humor, friendliness, love and support, Sunshine Preschool would not have been the success it became. She was beside me for the first several years, planning programs, laughing with children, having loads of fun together! This included taking the preschoolers to swim in her pool with Kermit the Frog painted on the bottom! Things change and time goes on as they say. We lost touch but I never forgot the positive energy she brought to everything we did together. My heart is broken for Jean’s family. Praying for comfort and the joy of memories to carry you through. God Bless.


Jessica K

July 7, 2023 at 1:21 pm

I knew Jean always as “Grandma Jean” along with Charles through my work as a social worker. They both have always been near and dear to my heart. Such a loving, and kind woman, always thinking about how she could help everyone else. She sent me birthday cards every year and I don’t think she realized how much I appreciated her thinking of me. My life had gotten very busy and it makes me sad I’ve been unable to get together with her and Charles anytime recently. I will miss her and my boys will as well, her blessings and thoughtfulness will not be forgotten! Her light shines on through all of her acts of kindness to those around her!


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