Margaret Phelps was 85

Updated: December 30, 2003, 8:52 PM ET
Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Margaret Phelps, mother of former Notre Dame basketball coach Digger Phelps, died Tuesday. She was 85.

Phelps died at the Emerson Hospital in Concord, Mass., of congestive heart failure, said John Heisler, Notre Dame's associate athletic director.

Phelps was a longtime resident of Beacon, N.Y., before moving to Marlboro, Mass., near her daughter, Diane Nelson of Sudbury. Phelps was once a nurse at the former Highland Hospital in Beacon.

She is survived by Nelson, daughter Barbara Eberle of Hilton Head Island, S.C., her son, Digger, three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Her husband, Richard M. Phelps, died in 1991.

Services will be held in Beacon, where Phelps raised her family. Visitation will be held Friday and the funeral will be Saturday at the Chapel of St. John the Evangelist.

Digger Phelps, 62, is Notre Dame's winningest coach, guiding the Irish to a 393-197 record from 1971-91. He led the Irish to 14 20-win seasons and their only Final Four appearance in 1978. He is a college basketball analyst for ESPN.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press