On Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012, Dr. Sadiq Hassan Wasfi passed away at his Dover home, surrounded by his wife and children.
Dr. Wasfi was born on July 1, 1936, in Basrah, Iraq, to the late Seniya Omar and Hassan Mohammed Wasfi. For 50 years, Dr. Wasfi fought the relentless, progressive effects of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. For 31 of those years, Dr. Wasfi distinguished himself as Professor of Chemistry at Delaware State University, where he taught both graduate and undergraduate courses, conducted research, and mentored and inspired thousands of students. He also published numerous scientific articles on Preparative Inorganic Chemistry, which appeared in international professional journals and was awarded federal research grants to support his innovative work throughout his distinguished career. For his efforts Dr. Wasfi received the First State Grant Achievement Award given for special achievement in securing grants for the State of Delaware. Further, Dr. Wasfi was Managing Editor of a special issue of the scientific journal “Frontiers in Bioscience,” and held a federal patent for Antimony Oxo-Metalate Complexes. Dr. Wasfi served for a time in the DSU Faculty Senate, chaired the Personnel Committee of the DSU Chemistry Department and for several years was advisor to the high school Science Olympiad held on the DSU campus.
During his extensive career, Dr. Wasfi also taught chemistry at Basrah University, Basrah, Iraq, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C, and Montgomery College, Takoma Park, Md. He received a B.S. in Chemistry/Education from Baghdad University College of Education, Baghdad, Iraq, his M.S. and Ph.D. in Analytical and Inorganic Chemistry from Georgetown University, and did post-doctoral research at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii. He retired in 2010, a widely respected educator whose name appears in Marquis “Who’s Who in America,” “Who’s Who in the World,” “Who’s Who in Science and Engineering,” and “American Men and Women of Science.” The impact Dr. Wasfi had on his students was epitomized in a statement published by a former student upon learning of his passing: “Today I say goodbye to a mentor, father, friend and teacher. You will never be forgotten and always remembered as one of the greatest men I've known. Thank you for always believing in me, bringing me into your family and taking me under your wing.”
Dr. Wasfi used his time away from teaching to develop his skill as an artist, producing striking geometric designs in bold oil colors. He also authored a series of philosophical tracts dealing with education, family and lessons learned throughout a lifetime of hardship and struggle as well as joy. A caring family man, he generously supported his relatives in Iraq during years of war and sanctions. Dr. Wasfi lived his life with honor, honesty, a sharp sense of humor, and above all, dignity.
Page 2 of 2 - Dr. Sadiq H. Wasfi is survived by his wife of 44 years, Ellen O. Wasfi of Dover, his son Ammar S. Wasfi, Esquire of Wilmington, Del., his daughter Dr. Dahlia S. Wasfi and her husband Ross L. Caputi of Newark, Del., his daughter Dr. Yasmine S. Wasfi and her husband Ira C. Baeringer, Jr., and his grandsons, Charles R. Baeringer and Laith J. Baeringer of Doylestown, Pa.; also two sisters, two brothers, one half-brother and numerous nieces and nephews in Iraq.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests honoring Dr. Wasfi’s memory by supporting the work of the Islamic Society of Delaware, 28 Salem Church Road, Newark, DE 19713, or at www.isdonline.org; or Delaware Hospice, 911 S. DuPont Highway, Dover, DE 19901, or at www.delawarehospice.org. Prayer services and internment were private. A memorial service is planned for late October following the 40-day mourning period.