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William Rafael Saadeh


1924 - 2018
William Rafael Saadeh Obituary
William Rafael Saadeh

Lancaster, PA - William Rafael Saadeh, 94, entered his eternal rest on June 11, 2018. He died peacefully at the home of his son, William Rafael Saadeh Jr., in Lancaster, Pa., with family members in attendance. Alice, his loving wife of 66 years, predeceased him in 2013.

William was born in Damascus, Syria, Jan. 5, 1924, the youngest child of Roufail and Jameileh (nee Koury) Saadeh. After graduating from the American University of Beirut with a B.S. in chemistry he taught high school in Jima, Ethiopia where he met and married a missionary nurse, Alice Hocking. They left Ethiopia in 1949 and came to the United States where he earned a master's degree in chemical engineering from Michigan Tech.

William worked as a chemical engineer for E.I.Dupont at Chambers Works. He returned to teaching while working in the Peace Corps in Antigua and at Orford High School in N. H.

William and Alice had six children: Samir Saadeh, Ruth Swing, Faith Kuhn, William Saadeh, Grace Robin Saadeh (deceased) and David Saadeh (deceased).

He and Alice settled in Wilmington, Del. from 1954-1982, then on to Hanover, N.H. and eventually to Lake Worth, Fla. to be in close proximity to their two daughters. William moved to Lancaster, Pa. in 2015 and spent his final years under the care of his son, William Jr. During his time in Lancaster William was a friend of many and a regular participant at Harvest Presbyterian Church.

Bill, as he was known by all, or Jiddi as he was known by his family, lived a rich and full life, reflected in the strong bonds to his sprawling family. Wherever he lived he became integrated and connected through his work, church and neighborhood. He was deeply involved with the youth group of Newark Evangelical Presbyterian Church and maintained those friendships throughout his life. Bill and Alice's home was a cross roads of Middle Eastern hospitality and was always filled with friends they met during their multiple trips around the globe. He was family focused and regularly spent time with all members of his extended family, earning a special place in their hearts and memories.

Bill was known best for his story telling and biking adventures. He tallied 3,333.33 miles on his bike at the age of 84. He was a gracious host, a humble guest and a gentleman at all times. All who knew him will miss his soft and loving spirit. He led through example and respect to all and passed that legacy on to his children.

He is survived by 13 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren. A memorial service is planned for a future date. For more information on the memorial service please contact the Cremation Society of Pennsylvania at (800) 720-8221.
Published in The News Journal on June 15, 2018
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