James J. Phelan, a retired executive with Chase Manhattan Bank who had a house on Georgica Road in East Hampton, died on April 12 in Princeton, N.J. He was 78 and had been ill for the past three years.
Mr. Phelan had summered on the South Fork in his youth and his fondness for the area around Georgica Beach led him to purchase the Fulling Mill Farm on Georgica Road in 1964. He was a longstanding member of the Maidstone Club.
Born in New York City on June 23, 1933, he grew up in New York and lived there throughout his life, also spending four years in Paris in the late 1960s and many summers in Montana’s Big Hole Valley.
He graduated from Columbia University in 1955 and was a “tireless proponent” of the university’s office of alumni and development, his family said.
Mr. Phelan’s wife, Sondra Sickles Phelan, died before him. He is survived by his children, John Phelan of Princeton, Daniel Phelan of Madrid, Melissa Roessler of New York City, and Michael Phelan of Los Angeles. He also leaves nine grandchildren and a brother, John Phelan of Houston.
Mr. Phelan was cremated. A service will be held at a later date.