“Bette” (Dillingham) Savage, age 92, of Ipswich, passed away on
Friday, July 26, 2013, following a period of declining health.
She was the loving wife of the late David “Doc” Woodruff Savage,
with whom she shared sixty four years of marriage.
Annapolis, MD, she was the daughter of the late Alexander and
Alveda Frances (Greenwood) Dillingham. She was raised in the
shadow of the Naval Academy in Annapolis where her father was a
professor of mathematics, enjoying summers on Cape Cod, in the
family’s cottage on the beach at the end of a dirt road in
Davisville. Bette attended grammar school in Annapolis and her
secondary years at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
She then studied at Hood College, graduating in 1942 with a
Bachelor of Arts degree. She furthered her education, achieving
an O.T.R. at the Philadelphia School of Occupational Therapy in
1944. She practiced O.T. in Baltimore until her marriage to
“Doc” Savage in 1948.
impossible for Bette. Her sense of adventure led her to ride
her 28” bicycle all the way to the Canadian border from
Maryland. Her love of and fascination with the boats that she
enjoyed in Davisville later inspired her to build her own
sailboat in her Ipswich living room, shaping the wood by soaking
it in the bathtub. She then spent many summers sailing with her
family at Papoose Pond in South Paris, Maine.
Bette was a
stay-at-home mother and she used her imagination and O.T.
training in many projects. Always thrifty, Bette braided many
rugs for her Ipswich home, even incorporating into the dining
room rug the suits that she and Doc wore at their wedding. She
made handcrafted birdhouses and homemade jellies, which she sold
on a small table at the end of the driveway. And she was always
brewing a fresh batch of root beer in the kitchen for the family
and neighborhood playmates.
In 1967 Bette
earned her Massachusetts Professional Librarian certification
and worked at the Ipswich Public Library, retiring in 1983 but
volunteering there until she was 80. She enjoyed traveling the
country with Doc, and then established her own postcard
business, learning the art of photography at an evening class
taught by a local photographer. She was involved in the
community for many years with the Ipswich Women’s Club, as a
volunteer for the Girl Scouts and also the American Red Cross,
and knitting afghans for veterans and mittens for Ipswich
She is survived
by her son Richard and his wife Lynne of Grosse Ile, Michigan,
her daughter Ann Savage and her husband Paul McDade of Ipswich,
five grandchildren, Christina (Costanza) Brown of Nottingham,
NH, Michael Costanza of Topsfield, Richard and Christopher
Savage of Grosse Ile, and Kimberly (Savage) Eberly of Ferndale,
Michigan, as well as several nieces and nephews.
arrangements were under the direction of the Whittier-Porter
Funeral Home of Ipswich. In lieu of flowers, expressions of
sympathy may be made in her name to Hospice of the North Shore
Greater Boston, Suite B-102, 75 Sylvan Street, Danvers, MA