William H. Savage

William H. Savage, 78, of Keene, passed away peacefully, at home, with his loving family at his side, on Friday, April 22, 2016, after a courageous and lengthy battle with cancer.

He was born, on Nov. 9, 1937, in North Stratford, N.H., the son of Raymond and Harriet (Kennedy) Savage. He graduated from Stratford High School and after serving a stint in the United States Navy, he enrolled in Plymouth State College, graduating in 1961. He went on to earn a master’s degree in education from Boston University. He earned additional credits from American University, University of Virginia and Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

He married Joyce M. Ceriello in a service in Concord on June 15, 1968. They would have celebrated 48 years of marriage this year.

Mr. Savage loved his work in education and always said how lucky he was that he looked forward to every day of his career working with students and dedicated teachers. He started his career as a teacher/coach at Sanborn Seminary in Kingston, N.H., before moving to the Governor Wentworth School District as a teacher/coach and later serving as the athletic director at Kingswood Regional High School in Wolfeboro, N.H.

In 1968 he was awarded a Ford Foundation Leadership Development Fellowship, spending the year as an intern at the American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation in Washington, D.C. The following year he was employed as the director for physical education and athletics at Oakton High School in Vienna, Va. He was a part-time instructor at the University of Virginia from 1970-1988 and served as the coordinator for the Fairfax weekend driver improvement school from 1973-1988.

In 1971 he was appointed director of athletics, health, physical education and student activities for the Fairfax County Public Schools, the 10th largest school district in America, a position he held for 17 years. He went on the serve eight years as an administrator at Fairfax High School. After retiring in Fairfax he returned to N.H. where he was an assistant principal for eight years at Keene High School and served as the interim principal in 1999-2000 for one year prior to his retirement. After retiring, he returned to SAU 29 to serve a wonderful year as principal at Westmoreland Elementary School.

He loved playing golf at Bretwood Golf Course in Keene, skiing in Vermont with friends, and a good game of cribbage with his friend, Dana McGinn. All who knew him will miss his wonderful stories, sense of humor and the twinkle in his eye! He and his loving and devoted wife were blessed with several cherished friends and met many wonderful people along their journeys.

Following his time at Keene High School he served for nine years as the executive director of the New England Council of Secondary School Principals Association. In that role he was responsible for conducting all New England high school athletic championships.

Mr. Savage served on many professional and civic boards and committees. He was president of the New Hampshire Association of Health, Physical Education and Recreation in 1966-1967, chaired the Maine-New Hampshire Committee on Recreation and Physical Fitness of the Mentally Retarded, and was an organizer of the Metropolitan Washington DC City and County Directors Association. He served on the Virginia Governor’s Advisory Committee for Alcohol Safety Action and was on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Sport and Physical Education.

Mr. Savage was a director for the Northern Virginia Regional Athletic Council Seminar on Athletics and the Law and the seminar on Sport and Health and a member of the American Association for Health, Physical Education and Dance, Physical Fitness Task Force, a consultant to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and a consultant to the United States Department of State Overseas Schools for the Mediterranean American International Schools and the American International Schools of Central America.

In 1984, he was the recipient of the Honor Award from the American Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and was inducted into the Plymouth State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. He and his wife were members of the Canaan Valley, W.V., Ski Patrol for 17 years and he served as the patrol leader for six years. In 1988, Mr. Savage was inducted into the Canaan Valley Ski Patrol Hall of Fame.

Mr. Savage is survived by his wife: Joyce M. Savage of Keene, two sons, Michael Savage of Fairlawn, Ohio, and Stephen Savage of Fairfax, Va.; his daughter, Kirsten Arendes and her husband, Michael, of The Woodlands, Texas; six wonderful grandchildren, Stephen Savage, Dolan Savage, Roland Savage, Sam Savage, Haley Arendes and Ella Arendes; a brother, Raymond Savage and his wife, Margaret, of Cary N.C.; a sister Claire Farley of Hollister, Mass., whose husband, Richard, died earlier, and a sister-law Joan Savage, of Durham, N.H., whose husband, Eugene Savage, died earlier, and by a number of caring nieces and nephews. His parents also passed earlier.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, April 26, at 11 a.m. at the United Church of Christ, 23 Central Square, Keene. There will be no public calling hours. Burial will be held privately.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Bill Savage’s name to the Steeple Renovation Project c/o the United Church of Christ, 23 Central Square, Keene, N.H., 03431.

Fletcher Funeral Home & Cremation Services (www.fletcherfuneralhome.com), 33 Marlboro St, Keene, N.H. 03431 has been entrusted with his arrangements.