May 24, 1926 - July 9, 2018
CHARLTON YARNALL PHELPS (née Jacobs) died peacefully on Monday, July 9 in Fort Worth Texas at her daughter, Sophia Yarnall Payne’s home.
Charlton was born in Haverford, PA in 1926 to Sophia Yarnall and Reginald R. Jacobs. She attended the Baldwin School and graduated from Milton Academy. She briefly attended Smith College but left to marry Stowe Catlin Phelps in 1944 and they enjoyed almost seventy years of marriage until his death in 2013. After World War II, Charlton and Stowe moved to New York with their two daughters: Sophia and Meredith Phelps Rugg (Peter). In addition to the joy she found in raising her children, Charlton found her inner calling in working for the benefit of others; a gift she never lost. She served on the board of The Child Adoption Agency and when it merged with The Children’s Aid Society (CAS), she joined its board as well. In 1975 Charlton became the first woman President of CAS and stayed actively involved until she moved to Fort Worth in 2016. In the 1950s she was Vice President of the Board of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and Chair of its Executive Committee. She was an early supporter of death with dignity and served on the board of Concern for Dying before it merged with the Society for the Right to Die. Throughout life, as her own family grew to include five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren, Charlton continued to have a lasting influence on the people around her, filling a void they did not even know was there, and setting a standard with humor, grace and compassion. Although she only had 12 grandchildren and great grandchildren, scores of others called her Granny because of her love, warmth and understanding of people. This kindness flowed from the bedrock of her faith. Indeed, over the course of her life, Charlton was nourished by – and nurtured – communities of faith who saw her as a model of commitment and love. She served on the Vestry and altar guild of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Fishers Island and she was an active member of the altar guild of St. James Church, New York City.
Survivors: Charlton is survived by her two daughters, her grandchildren: Jory Payne of Denver, CO, Charlton A. Rugg (Andi) also of Denver, CO, Brinton Payne (Kelly) of Fort Worth, TX, Courtney Rugg of Aiken, SC (formerly Caroline Garrison), and Magee Payne of Greenough MT, and her great grandchildren: Catlin Rugg, Pearson Payne, John Ellis Payne, Peter Garrison, Benjamin Garrison, Tench Rugg and Bridger Rugg.