Born 3-5-1918 -- Died 9-19-2003
Samuel Savage was born March 5, 1918, in Portageville, Mo., and died Sept. 19, 2003. He was a man of little formal education which was common during the 20s and 30s. At a young age he was forced to be the wage earner and father figure for his mother and seven young siblings because his father suffered injuries in France during World War I, which became permanent disabilities and forced him to spend the latter years of his life in the Veterans' Hospital in Little Rock. Sam was not drafted during World War II because of his being the sole support for his family. His younger brother, Jessie, was drafted and was awarded the Bronze Star five times of valor on the battlefield during his Army service in Italy, Central Europe and Germany. It was the only way the Savage family knew, to accept the given responsibility and then fulfill it, just as his father had done in France in World War I.
In the late 40s, Sam left his sharecropped farm and opened his first business involving a garage, service station and grocery store. After several years he became a proficient automobile mechanic and went to work at a Chevrolet garage. He studied and became a certified General Motors vehicle mechanic specialist in repairing Chevrolet Power Glide transmissions and installing air conditioning in vehicles. In 1958, he and his family migrated to Shafter, Calif., where he began his employment of many years at Richland Chevrolet. He was a mechanic with exceptional skills. He had many customers who let no one work on their vehicles except him. They would wait for their vehicles to be repaired until Sam could do it. In the days before computers controlled automobile engines he had the ability of being able to set the timing on an engine after an overhaul by listening to the engine run.
Sam was a man of great integrity and compassion and was respected and loved by all who knew him. He was a member of the Church of the Nazarene.
His later years were hindered by his hearing disability but he never deviated from his desire to serve and honor God. He made it clear to the end that he was ready to meet God, but he wasn't ready to do it yet.
Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Bernice Adams Savage; his son, Jim; his son, Rick and wife, Vonnie his daughter, Faith Wilbanks and husband, Bill; three grandchildren -- Robert and wife, Kelly, Scott and wife, Katie and Alison Johnson and husband, Tony; and four great-grandchildren -- Hannah, Grace, Claire and Sophie. He is also survived by his brother, Harvey of Hardy; sisters, Ethel Quillen of Wardell, Mo.; Hazel Moody of Caruthersville, Mo., Lillian Sims of Mammoth Spring, Ann Haymaker of Bartlesville, Okla., and Sue Sims of Thayer.
He was preceded in death by his beloved daughter-in-law, Nina Savage, beside whom he was laid to rest in the Shafter Cemetery. He was also preceded in death by his brother, Jessie.
Graveside services were were Sept. 24 at the Shafter Cemetery with arrangements under the direction of Mish Funeral Home.