Cover photo for Dolores Phelps's Obituary
Dolores Phelps Profile Photo

Dolores Phelps

d. February 14, 2021

Dolores Hawkins Phelps passed away on February 14, 2021 after a brief illness at home in Independence Texas, surrounded by her entire family. She was born in the hamlet of Huguenot NY, almost two hours northwest of New York City. Growing up in this idyllic environment forever instilled a love of country life that would permeate and influence her life decisions. As a young woman, she was spotted in a New York restaurant by the head of a major advertising agency who arranged an appointment with the editor of Mademoiselle magazine leading to her first cover by Hermann Landshoff. She would become one of the first super models, long before the phrase was coined. She worked full time from 1951 until her marriage to Stuart Lee Phelps in 1966 at St. Bartholomew's Church in New York City. She was on hundreds of magazine covers in the US and Europe including Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Mademoiselle, and Seventeen among others. Dolores worked for Eileen Ford with the Ford modeling agency and traveled the world with the top photographers of the era, among them the legendary Richard Avedon, Francisco Scuvullo, Allan Arbus, Jerry Schatzberg, Bert Stern, Lionel Kazan, William Bell, Bill Klein and Victor Skrebneski. As a result of her success she purchased a farm in Winterton NY, that would ultimately become the sanctuary every weekend for her family as they grew up and escaped a busy life in the city. From here she enjoyed a home base for antiquing and raising horses and riding in many fox hunts in New York and Connecticut. After moving to Houston in 1977, she dedicated herself to raising her three sons and training and raising thoroughbreds. In her spare time, she successfully carried on a residential sales career and eventually a farm and ranch brokerage with her husband from the vintage school house in Independence, TX. Dolores loved going on bird hunting trips with her husband in Scotland, South Texas, Georgia and numerous pigeon shoots at the Rolling Rock Club in Pennsylvania. Every summer for the past 35 years, she especially loved the culture of Taos and Santa Fe that gave her much joy and satisfaction. Once again beauty and peace would influence her choices. She was one of the Founders of the Washington County Riding Club that rode throughout the county culminating in gracious hospitality and dinners at the end of the trail. She was predeceased by her parents Harold and Rosemary Hawkins and her brother Harold, Jr. and survived by her sister Helene Hawkins Roeder and numerous nieces and nephews. Dolores is survived by her husband, Stuart Lee Phelps, her sons Stuart L. Phelps, Jr., John Merrick Phelps and wife Cori, William Clark Phelps and wife Katherine and two grandchildren, Caroline and Boone Phelps. She was the daughter in law of the late Merrick and Marie Lee Phelps of Houston, Texas. Dolores will be interned in the family cemetery at the Phelps Family Farm, Independence, Texas.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 West Main Street, Brenham, TX 77833.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dolores Phelps, please visit our flower store.


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