Dorothy C. Savage, 60, bookstore owner, high school science teacher

June 11, 2000|By Mark Ribbing | Mark Ribbing,SUN STAFF

Dorothy Clisham Savage, a science teacher and bookstore owner, died Wednesday of colorectal cancer at her home in Annapolis. She was 60.

Mrs. Savage taught biology at Forest Park High School in the early 1960s, then taught for nearly two decades in Connecticut before cancer forced her to retire.

A Baltimore native, she graduated from Eastern High School in 1958 and from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland in 1962. At Notre Dame, Mrs. Savage was a member of the biology honor society.

In the summer of 1962, she married Arthur C. Savage. Soon thereafter, she began teaching at Forest Park and received a master's degree in guidance counseling at Loyola College.

The couple left Baltimore in 1966 when Mr. Savage took an advertising job in St. Louis, where they lived for three years. They then lived in New Jersey for five years before moving in 1974 to Avon, Conn., where they spent the next 23 years.

In addition to teaching biology, chemistry and physics at Simsbury High School in Simsbury, Conn., Mrs. Savage owned and operated Annie's Book Shop, allowing shoppers to build store credit by trading in old paperbacks.

One of Mrs. Savage's friends in Connecticut was Pamela Marshall, who now lives in Homosassa Springs,Fla. Ms. Marshall said Mrs. Savage was committed to the classroom and her bookstore.

"She was genuinely interested in the kids and enjoyed what she did," said Ms. Marshall. "[The bookstore] was her baby, something she wanted to do on her own. She came up with the concept on her own, and she ran it on her own."

In 1997, Mrs. Savage underwent her first operation for cancer. To be closer to her family, the Savages moved to Annapolis. For three years, Mrs. Savage dealt with the illness, initially undergoing conventional cancer treatments.

However, the cancer reached her lymph nodes and spread further. She eventually abandoned chemotherapy, traveling to Germany and the Bahamas for blood treatments unavailable in the United States.

"She genuinely believed hope was the key to keeping her alive," said her husband. "She never lost hope. She never wanted to be a burden on anyone."

Services will take place at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road, Towson.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Savage is survived by a son, Benjamin C. Savage of Tilton, N.H.; a daughter, Laura Savage Houghton of Richmond, Va.; her mother, Stella Clisham of Harrisburg, Pa.; a brother, James T. Clisham III of Harrisburg; sisters Carol Clisham-Mackin of Towson and Sandra Bartz of Hamburg, N.Y.; and two grandchildren.

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