We're a hawk on the issues.

Westboro Baptist Church’s Fred Phelps ‘Could Be Kind and Wonderful’ According to Grieving Family

The controversial founder of Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps, Sr. died late Wednesday night in a Kansas hospice, according to family members. Phelps was 84.

On March 15, estranged son Nate Phelps posted a Facebook message warning that his father was near-death and expressing anger that he, and other excommunicated members of the fold, had been prevented from saying their last goodbyes.

Over the weekend, however, church spokesperson Steve Drain denied that rumors that the senior Phelps was in poor health were in true and claimed the source of the rumor was “uninformed.” Drain also refused to speak of Phelps’ recent ouster of the church calling it “church business.”

Fears of Phelps impeding death, however, turned out to be true and granddaughter Megan Phelps-Roper, who left the WBC in 2012,  confirmed her grandfather’s passing in a twitter post today published at 12:28 p.m.

“One way or another, he’s at peace,” Megan said. ‘There’s only Heaven or peaceful nothingness. That’s what I think.’ RIP, Gramps. I love you forever.”

In another post Phelp’s granddaughter addressed those she thought would likely not mourn her granddad’s passing.

“I understand those who don’t mourn his loss, but I’m thankful for those who see that ‘An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind,'” she wrote, adding in another tweet, “I’m so sorry for the harm he caused. That we all caused. But he could be so kind and wonderful. I wish you all could have seen that, too.”

Phelp’s daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper, who confirmed her father’s passing, declined to provide details about funeral arrangements for her dad.

One family member, however, suggested that while the family has grown to infamy publicly picketing funerals with their message of hate, there will likely be no funeral for Fred Phelps, Sr.

“We don’t worship the dead in this church, so there’d be no public memorial or funeral to picket if any member died,” Margie Phelps told the press in February.

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.