March 6, 1929 - Oct. 7, 2012

Ex-teacher kept lifelong sorority ties


Fadwa Skaff, a former educator for Toledo Public Schools who was a volunteer at her church and leader in college Greek organizations, died Sunday in Sunset Village, Sylvania Township. She was 83.

Mrs. Skaff, who was had the nickname “Fudge” since childhood, died from complications of dementia, her daughter, Cynthia Skaff, said.

A former resident of Old Orchard, she lived the last 10 years in Sunset Village.

She was a home economics teacher at Raymer Elementary School in East Toledo after graduating from the University of Toledo in 1951. She later taught the same subject at Waite High School and quit teaching in the late 1950s to become a stay-at-home mom, her daughter said.

During the 1960s, Mrs. Skaff taught home economics part time in the former Florence Crittenden Home for pregnant girls in West Toledo.

The former Fadwa Haney, she was born March 6, 1929. She graduated in 1947 from the former DeVilbiss High School.

While attending UT, she pledged to Alpha Omicron Pi, which began a life-time affiliation with the sorority.

Miss Skaff said her mother formed lasting friendships through the organization and went on to mentor young women. She also served in leadership positions at local, regional, and international levels. She was a past president of the City PanHellenic.

“She was a strong advocate for the benefits of the sorority and fraternity experience because of the bonds with friendships that are formed, the leadership development, and life skills that you get from Greek organizations,” she said.

In 2001, she received the International Mullen Award for lifelong service to Alpha Omicron Pi.

She married George Skaff on June 15, 1957. Mr. Skaff, who also was a teacher, met her while they were teaching at Raymer Elementary.

He was killed Sept. 26, 1976, in a car accident in which Mrs. Skaff was seriously injured.

Mrs. Skaff also had been active in the Mother’s Club of Old Orchard School, and was a volunteer for many years in the school library.

“Mom was an easy-going person. She had a lot of friends. But what made me so proud of her was the interest she took in my friends and the friends of my siblings. She did an amazing job of building relationships with our friends,” Miss Skaff said.

Mrs. Skaff was a past member of the Arthritis Foundation of Northwest Ohio and the UT Alumnae Association.

She also was active in St. George Orthodox Church, and had belonged to its Mother’s Club and Ladies Benevolent Society. She taught classes in the congregation’s Sunday school program for 40 years.

Surviving are her daughters, Cynthia and Kathleen Skaff; son, George; brother Michael Haney, and two grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday in the Walker Funeral Home, 5155 W. Sylvania Ave., where Trisagion Services will be held at 8 p.m.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday in St. George Orthodox Cathedral, 3754 Woodley Rd.

The family suggests tributes to St. George Orthodox Cathedral, St. Elias Orthodox Church, Alpha Omicron Pi Foundation, or the charity of the donor’s choice.

- Mark Reiter