Feryal “Fifi” Paden

Feryal “Fifi” Paden passed peacefully at her home on December 20th, 2014 with her loving family by her side. A memorial service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1011 Vermont in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday January 31, 2015 at 10 a.m.

She was born December 19, 1939 in Haifa, Palestine, the daughter of Atiya and Fareeda Shaya Saleh. Her family immigrated to the United States in 1955 and settled in Buffalo, NY.

She married Charles Milton Paden November 17, 1962 in Buffalo, NY. He preceded her in death on July 20, 2012. They moved to Raytown, MO and eventually settled in Independence, MO to begin their marriage and start a family. The family relocated to Lawrence, KS to take over Nabil’s Restaurant later renamed Fifi’s Restaurant in 1982. They owned and operated restaurants and a catering business with their three children for 20 years.

Fifi’s was an award winning restaurant in the Hillcrest Shopping Center. Many favorite dishes included Steak Diane, Chicken Dijon, Lobster Fettuccini Alfredo and homemade bread. Many local chefs and aspiring restaurateurs were influenced in their careers by her experience. Fifi was the iconic personality behind the restaurants and catered to the Lawrence community.

Survivors include two sons, Keith Paden and wife, Christy of Overland Park, KS, Brian Paden and wife, Mary, Lawrence; one daughter, Pam Paden, Lawrence; five grandchildren, Jordan, Alec, and Justin Paden of Overland Park, Wrenn and Cale Paden of Lawrence; sister, Samira Khoury; three brothers Sami, Nabil and George Saleh. She was loved by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.

She was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church, active in the Lawrence community, along with being an avid KU fan. She loved the Jayhawks!

Memorial contributions may be made in her name to Trinity Episcopal Church and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain.

8 Condolences

  1. Barbara and Gary Leabo on December 22, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Dear Keith, Pam, Brian and families, we are so sorry for your loss. Your mom was such a special person. We know that the many memories you have and your faith will help you through this time. Peace be with you, Barbara and Gary Leabo

  2. Miles and Paula schnaer on December 25, 2014 at 7:48 am

    We are very saddened to hear of Fifi’s passing. Keith, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your Family! We have known Fifi since we came to Lawrence 20 years ago from enjoying the experience many times at her restaurant, and having her greet us with that welcome smile and tremendous friendly attitude that made people love her and want to be with her. She brightened all our lives when she helped us with Cottonwood’s Salute. She will most certainly be missed.
    Our best,
    Miles and Paula

  3. Ross & Meg Schimmels on December 25, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    We share the sadness of everyone who knew FiFi and her generous welcoming spirit. She loved life, her beautiful family, and she loved serving the Lawrence community in so many ways. She played an integral role in shaping Lawrence’s reputation as a fine dining destination. She was a lovely person and beloved by so many. Here’s a toast to Fifi! Thank you for all the memories, the menus, and the great wines! Love, Ross and Meg

  4. Lisa Traver on December 30, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Dear Pam,Brian,Keith and family; I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Please know that Mary, Learlean and I have wonderful memories of your mom and dad at Fifi’s. Their graciousness and kindness to Mary is something I will always remember. Our thoughts are with you and yours, Lisa.

  5. Jeff Miller on January 7, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Paden Family,
    I was so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. I will always be grateful for the chances she gave me and her support for me once I had moved on from the restaurant. She will always have a special place in my heart.
    Jeff Miller

  6. Michael Levy on January 26, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Among the positive examples in life, which Fifi constantly displayed, I count humility, graciousness and service as the top three. She helped shape the better side of so many grateful people. May you find peace through her positive legacy, which lives on in the hearts of all she touched.

  7. Rita Faires on January 28, 2015 at 7:16 am

    May she forever live in your hearts and may her memory pass down through the generations. My deepest sympathy to the to the family she held so dearly.

  8. Joe & Paula Flannery on January 31, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Fifi & your Family will forever be remembered for your fabulous restaurant, hospitality and wonderful memories guests were able to make while dining at Fifi’s. May her spirit continue to inspire you all.

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