Will Savadge of Willow Ridge, Hudson, died Tuesday afternoon, May 14th, at Red Oak Rehabilitation Center, ten days after surgery for a broken hip. Famously reticent on the subject of his age, he was six and a half months past his 100th birthday.
Will moved to Hudson in the summer of 1979 to become General Manager of Duro. He had earlier retired from Union Camp Corporation and signed on as Senior Financial Analyst for Duro.
Born in Brookside, New Jersey, on October 26, 1912, he was the first son of Willam Wortman and Maude Roberts Savadge. Step-siblings, Gladys and Irving, and siblings, Mildred Nixon, Kenneth, Arthur, Helen Weiss, Doris Spooner and twin brother, Wesley, preceded him in death. Following the deaths of his father, and then his mother, he put himself through community college and transferred to Columbia University. In New York City he lived at the famed New York residence, International House, where he met his future bride, Johnnie June Cone. They were married in Portland, Arkansas, on May 27th, 1941.
Twin daughters were born in New York in 1942 before a promotion at Union Camp took the family to Detroit, Michigan, where daughters, Deborah and Helen were born. During subsequent assignments in Chicago and New York, the family lived in Lake Forest, Illinois, where Will became an avid golfer, Princeton, New Jersey, and Long Grove, Illinois, where he sang in the Methodist Church choir, and Rolling Meadows, Illinois, where he retired for the first of four times. In the mid 70’s he served as President of SAPI.
After moving to Hudson where he improved morale, productivity and safety records at Duro, he retired again, only to discover he didn’t like retirement any better the second time. He worked briefly at a paper company in Minneapolis, before leaving to form his own brokerage firm, Hudson Paper.
Always a voracious reader and sports fan, Will was active with Rotary and in local and state politics. He served on the Boards of the Hudson Hospital and the Phipps Center and founded the Philosophical Gentlemen, a social and philanthropic group, known as the PGs.
Until June’s move to Pine Ridge Gardens for Memory Care, the couple wintered at Burnt Store Marina in Punta Gorda, Florida. There, Will celebrated his last two Thanksgivings and Christmas, this year, with family, and entertained Hudson friends and family in January, February and March.
An athlete and passionate golfer nearly to the end of his life, he thrice scored holes in one. A lover of word play, crosswords and rhyme, he wrote and published, Princess Helene, a story in verse, and The Covered Bridge, a collection of poems.
Last July, his beloved bride of seventy-one years preceded him in death, as had daughters, Judith (2000) and Barbara (2007.) He is survived by daughters, Helen of Foxfyre Ranch, Princeville, Hawaii, and Deborah, a playwright, of New York City, grandchildren, Miles Horton, an attorney in Chicago, Heather Horton, an associate professor at SUNY-Albany, Macauley Peterson, a journalist, of Hamburg, Germany, and Jed Peterson, an actor, of New York City, son-in-law Geoff Peterson, granddaughters-in-law, Jen Bosworth, Isabelle Delemarre, and Sarah Gosnell, nieces Brenna Weiss, Suzanne and Kiryo Spooner and Beth Meeks and nephew, David Savadge, and by four grandnieces and a grandnephew. He looked forward to the birth of his first great-grandchild, due in September.
The family extends profound thanks to Mary Eels and her staff at the Red Oak Rehabilitation Center, and to Will and June’s many devoted friends. Will bequeathed his body to the Mayo Foundation for educational research. Reverend Dan Bruch will offer a memorial service at First Presbyterian Church in July with times to be announced. Interment will take place at the Hillside Church in Mendham, New Jersey, next spring.