James Robert Savage, 86 of Florence, Alabama died Thursday March 24, 2022.
Jim is survived by his brother, John Savage (Charlotte), his wife of 66 years, Helen Hooper Savage and their two sons, David (Paul) and Robin (Ginger) Savage. Also surviving are his four granddaughters, Adrienne Savage (David), Alison Bolgar(Rob) , Ellen Pantazis (Patrick), Emily Wignall (Nick) along with 6 great-grand daughters, 1 great- grandson and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, James Davis Savage and Frances J Hartsfield and sister, Michael Kay Savage Schepps.
Born in Walker County on 3/27/1935, Jim lived for a short time in Tuscaloosa before moving to Sheffield, where he spent most of his youth. A lifelong athlete and people person, he played football, baseball and basketball for Sheffield High where he was an All Tennessee Valley Athlete. After graduating in 1953, he attended the University of North Alabama where he studied business and played both football and baseball then went on to play semi-pro baseball the following year. On Dec. 31, 1955, Jim and his childhood sweetheart, Helen Hooper, eloped to Iuka, MS, beginning their lives together while he proudly served in the US Navy. Upon his honorable discharge, Jim began his 42-year career in Finance and Banking with executive roles at both First National Bank of Florence and First Metro Bank. Jim later furthered his education with a certificate in retail banking management from the graduate program at the University of Virginia.
Throughout his life, Jim was trusted by many and his service to the community went well beyond work. He served as President of the Florence Kiwanis Club; was a six time Senior Warden of St. Bartholomew’s, and supported Safe Place (haven for victims of domestic abuse) as well as numerous charities including Disabled Veterans, Boys Town and Habitat For Humanity. He coached and led Little League baseball in Florence and Chattanooga, TN, passing on his passion for baseball to future generations. In 2018, Jim was inducted into the Colbert County Sports Hall of Fame.
While Jim’s accomplishments and “can-do” ways were vast, his genuine ability to make others feel special is what will be missed most. He was an attentive conversationist, eager to listen while giving back with care, concern, or a joke. He was present when he was with you. Jim loved to laugh, sharing that with others in all kinds of ways - his spot on “Donald Duck” impression always made the family giggle. He had many hobbies, such as golf and RVing, but time spent with family and friends made him happiest. A loving man that answered to many names-Jim, Jimmy, Daddy, Gandan, Friend, and My Best Buddy- he touched the hearts and lives of many and will forever be missed.
A Celebration of Jim’s life and Interment of Ashes will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2022 at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, The Rev. Dr. W. Foster Eich officiating. The visitation begins at
10:00 a.m.; the Service begins at 11:00 a.m. with a reception in the Parish Hall afterwards. The family requests In lieu of flowers, please send donations to: St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church 1900 Darby Drive Florence, AL 35630.
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