This archived article was written by: Kellie Henderson
Henry James Savage, better known as Hank, retires after years of service to the College of Eastern Utah to pursue his love of gardening and to visit his family across the country.
Always excelling at any position he held, Savage joined the Navy after high school and, with his new bride, was stationed in Hawaii. While out at sea, he witnessed the launch of Sputnik I, which prompted the entire naval ship to prepare for war because it was uncertain as to whether the satellite was peaceful or not.
Savage also served on the USS Norton Sound and was discharged right before the sailed off the southern coast of South America and detonated an atomic bomb 300 miles into the air, a mission classified until just a few years ago.
He has had a lot of interesting experiences in his life, including knocking on the door of Charles Manson’s house while selling brushes door-to-door. Savage earned his degree in electronics and math, and contributed to the development of the first umbrella to convert the rays of the sun to energy.
Through the years, Savage has held countless jobs. He grins as he professes, “I can’t tell you all the jobs I’ve had.” He has worked as a substitute teacher in math, taught gardening classes at CEU, owned his landscaping company, sold anything from paintings to hairbrushes, owned a nursery and worked on the grounds at different schools, among many other jobs. His favorite thing to do, however, is to help people file their income taxes. He learned this skill while serving in Hawaii, and the district director of internal revenue, who worked near Savage, taught him a few secrets about filing taxes.
Still, through all his achievements and experiences, his family remains closest to his heart, and he insists that one of his most treasured memories was made recently. His family gathered from all across the country to throw him and his wife an anniversary party. The party was Hawaiian themed, home to the newly-wed Savages in the 1950’s, complete with Hula dancers and fresh pineapple.
An employee of the college for 13 years, Savage performed much needed work on the grounds. He pruned trees and did preventative landscaping work, grafted and saved condemned trees, and expelled weeds and insects to make way for a variety of beautiful roses, handpicked by Savage himself, who had worked with hundreds of roses at his own nursery.
Savage is excited to pursue his love of the outdoors while possibly working as a substitute teacher on the side. A passionate gardener, his family never has to buy their own vegetables. When the weather gets cold, he helps his wife tend to their collection of 86 houseplants.
Though he will be irreplaceable to CEU, his many friends and magnificent Angel Face roses in bloom across the campus will attribute to his many contributions, tangible and intangible, to the college.