He was born Jan. 22, 1948, in Cape Girardeau, son of Henry and Gerda Phelps. In 1970 he married LaDonna Meinz of Scott City. His second marriage was to Sue Eckler of Huntersville in 2005.
David graduated Notre Dame High School in 1966 and Southeast Missouri State University in 1970.
He was a naval aviator, piloting the A-7 Corsair II aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. He enlisted during the Vietnam War in 1970.
David was a pilot with American Airlines 29 years. He was an avid golfer, great fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and enjoyed a good cigar with fine scotch. David was a proud father and loving brother, accepting of everyone and enjoying friendships with people from various backgrounds. He fought his battle with cancer to the very end.
He is survived by his wife, Sue Phelps; a son, Blake Phelps of Cape Girardeau; a daughter, Tandra Phelps of St. Louis; a stepson, Jay Aichelman; a stepdaughter, Hannah Aichelman; a brother, Dan Phelps of Cape Girardeau; and three sisters, Betty Hellige of St. Louis, Donna Johnstone of Palmdale, Calif., and Nancy Underwood of Jackson.
Friends may call from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Funeral Home in Cape Girardeau.
The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Monday at the funeral home, with deacon Jim Long officiating. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery in Cape Girardeau.
Memorials may be made to Christian Children's Fund, 2821 Emery Wood Parkway, Richmond, Va., 23294.