Lebanese-American businesswoman and philanthropist Adele Barakat died April 29 at her Pennsylvania home, an obituary said. She was 95.
Barakat was born to Lebanese immigrant parents in 1923, and owned the beloved Hykel’s Subs restaurant in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.
She established the restaurant in 1938 after graduating from business school. She also worked for the Signal Corps during World War II, where she helped provide support for command and control of the armed forces.
Barakat and her husband opened several businesses, and employed more than 250 people in the Delaware Valley, her obituary said. Her husband also owned a manufacturing facility in Oxford, Pennsylvania.
As a Lebanese-American, Barakat was one of many families approached by former actor Danny Thomas to fundraise for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
She was also a major support of the Lebanese Maronite Catholic community in the Philadelphia suburbs, where she donated a 14-acre property to establish St. Sharbel Church in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.
Barakat and her husband were recognized by Pope John Paul III with the highest honors of the Catholic Church to thank them for their contributions.
Her funeral was held on Saturday.
Barakat loved gardening, spending time with her family and cooking traditional Lebanese food, her obituary said.