Jim “Doc” Savage died in New Jersey on Jan. 20, 2009, after a period of ill health.
Doc came to Amherst from his home in Westfield, N.J. At Amherst, he was a member of DU and, in his freshman year, participated in soccer, baseball, the Christian association and the band. Subsequently, he became manager of the squash team and served on the intramural council for two years.
After graduating with a B.A. in economics, Doc entered the Harvard Business School. In March of ’43, he was commissioned an ensign in communications in the U.S. Navy and served for more than three years (Oran, Salerno, southern France invasion, Bizerte and home in November 1944). While at home, he married his wife of 64 years, Catherine, nicknamed “Pert” (Smith ’44). Shipment to the Pacific followed (Honolulu, Manila, Okinawa, Ulithi, Guam, Nagasaki, and separation as a lieutenant in June 1946.)
At that time, Doc returned to Harvard, receiving his M.B.A. in February 1947 and acquired a son, Ted ’68, while there. His first and longest job (1947-78) was with American Smelting and Refining Company. Most of the time he was in the accounting systems and procedures section of the comptroller’s department, which Doc headed during the last years of his tenure. Before retiring in 1984, Doc did consulting work for Hartz Mountain Corporation and was the office manager for a law firm.
In retirement Doc and Pert lived for many years in a very Quaker CCRC facility in New Jersey. According to his son Ted, Doc never mentioned his military service, but, about a year before his death, Ted arranged a trip for Doc and Pert to D.C. to visit the World War II Memorial. Doc was visibly impressed and seemed to enjoy the trip very much.
—Ted Heisler ’42