Leslie Howard Savage, 80, enjoyed model railroads, astronomy and banjo lessons

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Leslie Howard Savage
Leslie Howard Savage

Retired U.S. Army Col. Leslie Howard Savage, 80, of Williamsburg, left his country’s duty roster on Saturday, February 13, 2016.

He was born on December 21, 1935, in Norfolk, and preceded in death by his parents, Anne White Royall, and father, Thomas L. Savage. He was a member of the last class, in 1954, of Oceana High School, Oceana.

He entered Virginia Military Institute in the fall of 1954 and graduated in 1958 as a distinguished military graduate with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He received a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois in 1963 and attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the British Army Staff College in Camberley, England, and the Army War College.

During nearly 30 years on active duty, he had numerous assignments in Europe and Southeast Asia, including three tours of duty in the Republic of Vietnam. He served in three engineer battalions, as platoon leader and assistant S-3, 168th Engineer Battalion in Nelligan, Germany, as company commander assistant Division Engineer Battalion in Hawaii and in the Republic of Vietnam, and commander, 82nd Engineer Battalion in Bamberg, Germany. His military awards include two Legion of Merit badge, two Bronze Star medals, two Meritorious Service medals, Air Medal, Joint Services Commendation Medal and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

After 15 years of school and combat engineering assignments, he, Joann and their three children moved to the Washington, D.C., area, where he served in various staff assignments at the Officer of the Chief of Engineers, the Army Materiel Command, and the Department of the Army. His final assignment was chief of Army Housing, Office of the Assistant Chief of Engineering at the Pentagon.

His is survived by his wife of 58 years, Joann Hughes Savage, of Williamsburg,; daughters, Kimberly K. McClain, and husband, Erie, of Dumfries; Shannon M.L. Day, and fiancé, Guy of Brick, N.J.; son, Howard A. Savage, and fiancee, Janie, of North Myrtle Beach, S.C.; sisters, Bunny A. Colvin, and husband, Fred, of Santa Fe, N.M., Treatie A. Taylor, and husband, Dean, of Chesapeake; brother, John C. Royall, and wife, Judy, of Moyock, N.C.; and his grandchildren, Michael, Allen and Max McCain, Tony Savage, and Sydney, Madison and Kyle Day.

Howard was an avid car-racing fan and spent more than 10 years racing a 1972 Chevrolet Vega in the Sports Car Club of America events, winning many trophies in his class. He still had his 1973 red Vega that he drove occasionally through Williamsburg. He was also a dedicated Washington Redskins fan, never missing a game of his favorite team and always flew the team flag on game day.

In 2006, he and Joann moved to Williamsburg. Howard’s hobbies included model railroads, astronomy and his banjo lessons. He looked forward to poker night and exchanging books with his friends. He did like to travel, but only if Joann made all the arrangements; he didn’t like to be bothered with details.

To our dear friends, Dale and June Kelly, who were with us from beginning to end, God bless you. He was beloved by his family and friends and will be dearly missed.

A viewing will be held at the Nelsen Funeral Home at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 20. Burial services are to be held in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Hospice House of Williamsburg, 455 Powhatan Parkway, Williamsburg, VA 23188, or the American Cancer Society at cancer.org.

Please express condolences to the family at Nelsen Funeral Home.

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