Name:    Thomas Richard Shoaff

From:  The News Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Date:  Saturday, Saturday, May 14, 2005

Thomas Richard Shoaff, 96, of Fort Wayne, passed away Friday, May 13, 2005.  Born in 1909 in a horse drawn carriage traveling to the hospital in Fort Wayne that was yet to see cars, he was the son of Fred and Alice Shoaff. 

Most of his life was spent in Fort Wayne where he attended Central High School where he graduated as Salutarian of his class.  His post-secondary years took him to Williams College and Princeton University where he completed his graduate work in architecture in 1934.  As he matured, so did his love of Fort Wayne, which became a lifetime commitment to the quality of its growth. In 1937, he began his service to the community by opening his architectural office.  However, with the onset of World War II, he left Fort Wayne to serve in the Navy in Washington, D.C.  While there, he married Phyllis Marian Kleiner, in 1942 at the National Cathedral. At the end of the war, they returned to Fort Wayne where he continued his architectural career.

He had a variety of interests and accomplishments during his life.  He loved the game of tennis. After winning the city tournament twice, he was inducted into the Fort Wayne Tennis Hall of Fame.  He was a president and the founder of the Fort Wayne Ballet, and served on the boards of the Fort Wayne Art School, the Fort Wayne Art Museum, and the Civic Theater.  Like his father, Frederick, he was an avid supporter of the Fort Wayne Park System.  He loved art in all its forms, whether it was ballet in the theater, artwork that adorned his home or the houses and buildings he designed for Fort Wayne.

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis; five children, Judith Readings, Susan Long, Clare Mason, Richard Shoaff, and Wally Shoaff; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

He was a beloved father, husband and best friend to all who knew him.  Clearly, to all who did know Dick Shoaff, he will be greatly missed.

A memorial service is 4 p.m. Tuesday at the First Presbyterian Church Chapel. Memorials to Friends of the Park, the Fort Wayne Ballet or Park Center.  Arrangements by Klachn, Fahl & Melton Funeral Home, Wayne Street Chapel, 420 W. Wayne St.