In Memory of




Obituary for John Michael Phelan

John Michael Phelan passed away peacefully on Friday, May 29, 2020. He was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey and resided most of his life in Sayreville, New Jersey. He is a graduate of the Wardlaw-Hartridge High School as well as Stony Brook University in New York where he graduated with a degree in History.

John was an exceptional athlete. While attending Wardlaw-Hartridge, he excelled in football, basketball and baseball making the New Jersey high school all-state teams in each sport. While at Stony Brook, he was named captain of the football team as well as the recipient of the team’s defensive MVP award. In addition to these accomplishments, he was also a three-time academic All American.

John was employed with Automatic Data Processing Inc. for 15 years serving as a client service implementation specialist in the payroll department when he retired after 15 years of service. He spent his final years as an entrepreneur investing in various businesses and identifying new opportunities.

In 2010, John helped co-found the Coach Michael Phelan scholarship award which was established in the memory of his father. The scholarship was awarded annually to a student at Our Lady of Victories Grade School who excels in both sports and academics.

In 2015, John relocated to the Palm Springs, CA area to be closer to family. Upon his arrival in Palm Springs, he volunteered in the community serving as an assistant football coach at Rancho Mirage High School where he was loved by coaches and players alike. He enjoyed the final years of his life playing golf at Bermuda Dunes Country Club where he purchased his dream home.

John is predeceased by his father Michael K. Phelan. He is also survived by his mother Dianne Zientek Phelan of Parlin, NJ, his sister Michelle Keyso and her husband James of Hamilton, NJ his brother Michael C. Phelan his wife Pamela and their two sons Michael and Jack of La Quinta, CA, He is also survived by many Aunts, Uncles and cousins whom he loved dearly.

John was an advocated of sports safety so in lieu of flowers please donate to the Boston Research CTE Center in John’s name. You can make a donation through this Web site:

Or you can write a check made to the Boston University CTE Center and mail it to:
Attn: Racheal Downes
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center
72 E. Concord Street
Suite B-7800 Robinson
Boston, MA 02118
Please reference John Michael Phelan name

Funeral services are private to family, following federal guidelines regarding COVID-19. Burial will be private at New Calvary Cemetery. Completed arrangements and letters of condolence to the family may be found by visiting