September 21, 1932 ~ September 3, 2020

Born in: Akron, Ohio
Resided in: Laguna Niguel, California

Lt. Colonel Ferris R. Fadel, 87, passed away peacefully on September 3, 2020, in Laguna Niguel, California, with his wife and daughters at his side.

Born in Akron, OH on September 21,1932, he was preceded in death by his parents, Massoud and Lena Fadel, sister Roseline Fadel Kleiza (Al) and daughter Christine. He is survived by his wife, Diane, daughters, Terese Fadel Richards (Glen), Maria Soto (Russel), Karen Fadel, grandchildren: Kendall, Regina, Tiani (Andrew), Christian and two great-grandchildren, Nathanial and Michelle, his brother, Chaker Fadel, nieces Annemarie Kleiza, and Cindy Kleiza.

Ferris graduated from both St. Vincent Grade and St Vincent High schools (`50).  While Ferris was taking Chemistry in HS, he developed the idea/formula to combat tooth decay. Ferris’s chemistry teacher sent his brilliant idea of adding fluoride to toothpaste to the Proctor and Gamble Co. His idea wasn’t accepted. A few years later, Crest fluoride toothpaste was launched. Unfortunately, Ferris never reaped the rewards of his invention but he continued to use Crest toothpaste until he passed away two weeks before his 88th birthday!

Ferris went on to graduate from the University of Akron, BS in Business in 1955 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt in the USAF through the AFROTC program.

During his University of Akron days, he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and stood out as a member of the Fraternity’s award winning “Songfest” contest. His signing talent led to an invitation to be a lead singer in a band but Ferris declined concentrating on finishing his studies.

After graduation he immediately entered the USAF, attended Navigator school at Mather AFB, CA. and graduated as a Navigator/Bombardier. After Mather AFB, he was assigned as a Navigator/Bombardier on an Air Force EB-47E bomber, where he earned the nickname, “Fearless Ferris”, at Lockbourne AFB, Columbus, OH. While in Columbus, Ferris met the love of his life, Diane Liberati at his first military Ball at the Officers Club. The rest is a 63-year adventurous love story lasting until his death.

After ten years in the Air Force, Ferris returned to Akron where he worked for three years at the Babcock and Wilcox Co. He missed the Air Force so he returned to active duty via his Air Force Reserve unit in Youngstown.

During his 23 years of military service, he and Diane were stationed in 10 states as well as Turkey, where he was the Squadron Commander for the military Postal Service covering various mid-east countries. Later he was sent to South Korea.

In 1979 he finished a 23-year military career serving as a Squadron Commander in the Strategic Air Command (SAC), commanding 370 personnel at Offutt Air Force base, Nebraska. Noteworthy awards included USAF Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters) and the Korean Defense Service Medal.

After retiring, Ferris, Diane and family migrated to California where he worked for the US Government until 1992.

He enjoyed traveling locally, golfing, buying and selling antiques, and golf clubs for his business -The Golden Putter.

Along with his devotion to his family, he’ll be remembered for his sense of humor, smile, and kindness. He’d give money to those who asked and even gave the jacket off his back to a young man standing out in the cold. He loved spending time with family. He sang and danced daily with his beloved wife. He was a role model and respected by all who knew him. He left the world a better place, including combating tooth decay with his invention of fluoride toothpaste!

In Ferris’ memory, we ask that donations be made to the local Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity or to St. Joseph Melkite Church in Akron where he was a devoted Altar Server.

Services were held, with full military honors, at the Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, CA.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline

View the Timeline

Photo Gallery


  1. To my incredible, dapper, big-hearted and gentle-souled father, you will always be my mentor, my hero, my best friend, and the best father one could every wish for. You did it all–had an amazing career while loving, caring for and supporting your beloved wife, four daughters, all your fur babies. Living with you and Mom for the last five years was a true gift, one I will be forever thankful for. I thought I knew you well after being on this earth for 49, but as the five years went on, I got to know and love and appreciate you more each day. I learned how and what you loved. You loved and adored your life-long best friend and wife of 62 years. You loved your four children, four grandchildren and two great grand children. You loved your country, the military and the USAF to the core! You loved outings to the military commissary, playing games and winning mom stuffed toys at the local fair, touring national parks, attending live concerts (Alabama in Las Vegas), musical performances and plays, arts and crafts festivals, museums, parties, and eating at great restaurants. And you LOVED yogurt and ice cream shops–your favorite! You loved being Catholic and going to St. Timothy’s Church in Laguna Niguel and meeting new friends each week while enjoying the donuts and coffee after mass. You were highly intelligent and loved to invent things and kept a list of ideas. You loved open houses–touring the homes, meeting the realtors and learning about the current RE market. Despite mom disliking them, you loved garage sales and thrift stores. You loved to dance. Wherever there was music and a dance floor, you were tearing it up–including dancing at art and winery events, and in our family room with mom. No matter what, you were smiling and singing–especially while working as a co-pilot in your trusty Nissan Maxima. You loved talking to everyone and people loved hearing your military and life experiences. You loved your father, mother, sister and brother, Chaker, whom you spoke about daily. You loved to sing, especially the Ave Maria. And even though you didn’t have the singing career you desired later in life, we’ll always have our trio “Birthday Choir” memories with Mom, where we sang to family and friends on their birthdays. As your daughter activities director, we covered much ground and I thank God for our time together. My only wish was we had more! I’ll always Love you, Dad! Thank you and mom for giving me life and letting me see all the beauty in it. Like you, I’ll make sure my glass is always half full. Love, you #4 daughter, Karen

  2. We send our condolences to your family. May our God of all comforts and mercy be with you during this difficult time . Thank you Mr.Fadel for your service..

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Sign the Guestbook