Neal Savage, our husband, father, grandfather, uncle, leader, mentor and friend was called home on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013.
Neal was born June 4, 1933, in Twin Falls, Idaho to Cornelius Ammon and Emma Luke Savage. The fifth of six children, he was greatly influenced by his four brothers and one sister.
As a boy born during the great depression, the family moved often to obtain work. This left a lasting impression on Neal as the family had opportunities to make do with what they had while also sharing with others less fortunate. The family finally settled in American Fork where Neal graduated from American Fork High School having played basketball on a state championship team and where he served as drum major of the marching band.
Following graduation, Neal attended the University of Utah where he played basketball for the Runnin' Utes and served as drum major of the U of U marching band. Neal also joined the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and made many friends that had a lasting impact for good upon him. During this time, Neal also served in the United States Air Force Reserve.
In 1960, Neal married Gaylie Anne Brockbank (later divorced). In 1981, Neal married Sherrie Ann Hansen. Neal was blessed with six children that he cherished. They are Malinda (Matt) Melville of Orem, Greggory (Tamara) Savage of Draper, Melissa (Mike) Clayton of Orem, Nathan (Shannon) Savage of Draper, Anna (Trent) Mallinson of Pleasant Grove and Emilee (Shane) Wright of Provo. Neal was also blessed with 22 grandchildren. Each loved him dearly and will forever be grateful for his kindness and influence.
Neal is survived by his wife, Sherrie, and each of his children and grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his four brothers John, Grant, Kenneth and Luke and his sister Valentine.
During Neal's teenage years, his older brother Kenneth returned from naval service in the Pacific Theater having served in World War II. Kenneth had saved $600 dollars and with a willing father as partner, they started in business together. As they grew older, Neal and his brother Luke also joined the business. Summers were spent cutting timber in the Yellowstone area for mine props and hauling coal from the Carbon and Emery County area. Neal often spoke of loading 7½ tons of coal one shovel at a time and then off-loading the coal in the same manner.
In 1958, Neal's father passed away and he joined with his brothers Kenneth and Luke in forming Savage Brothers Incorporated which eventually became Savage Companies. In business and in life, they were partners and allies. Based on the principles of integrity, hard work and customer value, the business overcame many challenges and grew through the years across North America, Northern Europe and the Middle East. However, Neal never lost touch with his roots. Neal appreciated the many friends and employees with whom he associated and was always grateful for their hard work and dedication. Neal always saw the good in others, shared his vision for the future and helped people do things they never dreamed possible.
Neal was never defined by what he had but rather by how he could serve others. In business and in life, Neal believed there was a better way to do things and then worked to achieve it. Neal never forgot where his blessings came from. Neal's last counsel to his family was to never forget how blessed we have been.
Neal's life was defined by his membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his testimony of the restored gospel. As a young man, he served as a missionary in the Central Atlantic States Mission in Virginia and North Carolina. Neal was a faithful member of the church throughout his life having served as young men advisor, music director, temple worker, High Councilor, member of Branch Presidency, Bishop and Stake President. He loved the Lord and freely shared his testimony of the restored gospel with others. Neal was also committed to giving back to the communities in which he lived having served as Mayor of American Fork and on numerous civic, government and educational boards.
Throughout his life, Neal was a giant of a man. He was always known for his kindness, humility, compassion and love. He leaves behind a legacy of faith and testimony for which we are eternally grateful.
As a family, we thank the doctors, nurses and other healthcare and hospice providers at IMC ICU, Envision Hospice and American Fork Stonehenge who worked so hard to make him comfortable. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the General Missionary, Humanitarian Aid or Perpetual Education Funds of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
A viewing will be held Thursday, December 5th from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and on Friday, Dec. 6 from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. Funeral services will be held Friday, Dec. 6 at 10:30 a.m. Both the viewings and funeral service will be held at the Edgemont LDS Stake Center located at 303 West 3700 North in Provo. Interment in the American Fork City Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.SundbergOlpinMortuary.com.