Quadriplegic writer for The Rural Route passes away

By Jennifer Bowman in People

It is with deep sadness that we say goodbye to one of our beloved writing contributors following his death on June 2.

Howard Savage, just four months shy of his 70th birthday, became quadriplegic 30 years ago. Despite the difficulties that posed to being a writer, he found great joy in writing for The Rural Route.  He began writing for the magazine in 2014. His stories were in about a dozen issues, entertaining eager readers.

“To make a long, painful story short, he eventually learned to operate a computer by using a special mouth apparatus and computer program,” said his wife, Ruth Anne Savage, also a regular contributor of the magazine. “He had to learn the Morse Code (which he memorized) and then translate the dots and dashes into sips and puffs to form words.  One simple sentence could take several hundred of these so writing was quite an effort for him.  But he loved it.  He was so proud and excited when his first story was published in the Rural Route. He got instant feedback from the readers and was so encouraged by their comments.”

Messages on the Hardy-Lee Funeral Home website also recognize him as a special person.

“My family could not have asked for a more kind, hard-working and skilled group of folks to work with than you guys. Howard operated the drag-line and dug our pond. He was an absolute joy to work with – smart, courteous and fair… He gave us a mountain of happy memories.”

Howard’s last story appeared in The Rural Route on June 1st, he passed away on June 2nd.

“His story, ‘Busted!’ was read at his funeral and brought much laughter through the tears,” Ruth Anne said. “As the Pastor said, ‘We’ll give Howard the last word.’”