Louis F. Savelli
1935 - 2020
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Louis F. Savelli

Wilmington - Louis F. Savelli, age 85, passed away on Saturday, November 7, 2020. He was born July 9, 1935 in Wilkes Barre, PA and was the only child of the late Frank and Mary (nee Giampietro) Savelli.

Lou graduated from GAR High School in 1952. During high school he played trumpet professionally. He was one of the few students in the country to receive a full merit scholarship to attend Columbia University, graduating in Chemical Engineering and Liberal Arts in 1957. He married Carolyn (nee Stefanko) Savelli in 1958 and they had three children.

Lou joined the DuPont Company in 1959 as a chemical engineer in the Research and Development Division and over the years was promoted into a variety of sales, technical and management positions. In 1990 he became the president of DuPont Automotive and group vice president of DuPont Performance Coatings. In 1992, he signed then-rookie, Jeff Gordon, 4 time NASCAR Cup Champion, to become the face of DuPont in one of DuPont's most successful marketing campaigns. He was also responsible for turning DuPont into the world's largest manufacturer of automotive paints with the blockbuster (at the time) $1.9 billion acquisition of Europe's largest paint manufacturer, Herberts, in 1998. Lou served as Chairman of the National Paint & Coatings Association -1997-98, and was recipient of its highest award. He retired from DuPont in 2001.

Lou was an avid reader, traveler and golfer and was member of the Wilmington Country Club. He loved vacations at the beach with his family and watching his grandchildren playing sports, performing in the arts and growing up.

Lou is survived by his first wife, Carolyn, daughters Denise Laganosky (Keith), Sharise Dautel (Scott) and Christine Kimmel, Esq. (James) and his six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He is predeceased by his second wife, Gloria Sanford.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Joseph's on the Brandywine, 10 Old Church Rd, Wilmington, at 10:30 am, on Thursday, November 12. Interment will be private. Because of current COVID-19 Restrictions a celebration of life will be held at a later date. Services will be held in accordance with the current health directives, wearing masks, social distancing and capacity requirements.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to American Cancer Society, PO Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123 or Sunday Breakfast Mission, 110 N. Poplar Street, Wilmington, DE 19801.

For online condolences visit: www.mccreryandharra.com

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The News Journal from Nov. 8 to Nov. 9, 2020.
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4 entries
November 16, 2020
May the love of friends and family help in this time of grief.

I worked in Automotive for several years when Lou was leading the business. I remember when I caddied for him in a PGA tour ProAm event. Got to play with Furyk/Fluff. Lou was an good golfer, but a perfectionist. I learned quickly to stop saying good shot. Because it was never good enough. Also, when he lit up a cigar, the hole was over, and we would just mosy towards the next tee. We crossed a lot of ropes that day.

Great memory.
Brad Gollhardt
November 15, 2020
Lou was my first cousin once-removed (my mom's first cousin) and I had a chance to connect with him in 2001 when I realized we both live in Delaware. I had the chance to invite him to my home in 2007 on Thanksgiving so that he could see his my mom and her sister whom he hadn't seen in decades. He was such a kind and thoughtful person and will be missed.
David Gilefski
November 9, 2020
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Gay Brown
November 9, 2020
My wife Sandi and I send our "Prayers for the Peace that Passeth Understanding" to Lou's family.

Lou and I worked together a couple of times about 40 years ago in our DuPont Co careers, him at the time in Polymers / Industrial Films, me in DuPont Co External Affairs. In fact, one specific memory from Jan 1980, was when I arranged to have DuPont Co Mylar PET film featured in the half-time show of the Super Bowl XIV in Pasadena. I got some extra tickets to the Super Bowl as a result of that, and I was able to share those with Lou, who worked at the time with Mylar in the Recording Industry (a lot of VHS tape), and he used them for customer entertainment. I still remember another time bumping into him at the Alderman Datsun when I was having my 240Z serviced, and I think he was there with a Datsun (now Nissan) sports car at the same time.

We send our condolences to his family.
Sam Waltz
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