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.