Samuel L. Savidge Jr.|
Samuel L. Savidge Jr., a prominent Seattle business figure for many years, died quietly in his sleep on January 15, 2013 at the Park Shore Retirement Home. He was 88.
Born in Akron, Ohio on November 12, 1924, Mr. Savidge came to Seattle a year later with his father S. Leigh Savidge, a civil engineer and early pioneer in the United States automobile business, who, in 1926 would establish the area's first Dodge, Chrysler, Plymouth retail dealership. Mr. Savidge attended local public and private schools including Garfield High School and Lakeside School before graduating cum laude from Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana in 1942. Admitted to Harvard College, his college years were pre-empted by two years of military service where he became an officer and later participated in America's post-war occupation of Japan. He returned to Harvard in 1945, where he captained the golf team, studied French and became a member of the Spee Club. He graduated in 1948.
Returning to Seattle later that year, Mr. Savidge joined his father in operating multiple automotive businesses including S.L. Savidge, Inc. which was now the exclusive provider of Chrysler cars and trucks to western Washington and Alaska and had grown to be Chrysler's fifth largest retail operator in the U.S. A year later, in 1949, Mr. Savidge and eight other local businessmen founded the Northwest Forum, a social organization that promoted idea sharing in business and professional fields whose membership would grow to attract many of Seattle's prominent business leaders. He became President of S.L. Savidge, Inc. in 1955 and operated the business until it was sold in 1979.
In 1954, Mr. Savidge married Joan Harris, a flight attendant and former University of Washington Homecoming Queen. They raised three children and were married for 53 years until her death in 2007.
Throughout his life, he retained a strong passion for the majestic mountains and seascapes surrounding Hood Canal. In the late 1950's, he partnered with several close friends, who secured a plot of land and built homes on property they saw as untouched by commercial interests. They called it Chinom Point, a reference to the Tchinom Indian tribe that had once settled there. For those that knew him, the summer weekends he spent there with family, friends and no electricity were the happiest of his very happy life. His local club affiliations included Broadmoor Golf Club, Washington Athletic Club, 101 Club, Seattle Tennis Club, University Club and Northwest Forum.
He is survived by his three children, S. Leigh Savidge III, (Vita, fiance;) of Los Angeles, T. Blair Savidge, (Janice) of Seattle, Sarah Elizabeth Savidge, of Seattle, two nieces, Mary Wheatman Rockwell , of Bellevue and Anne Wheatman Peter of Scottsdale, Arizona, a nephew, Herb Wheatman, of Honolulu and two grandchildren, Emily, and Austin. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Ann Taylor Savidge in 1958 and a sister, Marjorie Savidge Wheatman in 1971.
A funeral service has been planned beginning at 4:00pm at Epiphany Church on February 6, 2013.
Any remembrances may be made to Epiphany Church, 1805 38th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122.
Published in The Seattle Times from Jan. 22 to Jan. 27, 2013