Local pastor fondly remembered

Cecil Savage lived in Mission since 1978.

Cecil Savage lived in Mission since 1978.

A popular Mission pastor who passed away in late March never lost his sense of humour, or his gentle charm.

Cecil Savage had lived in Mission for decades and was well-respected in the community, starting pastoring here in 1978 at the Mission Baptist Church. He was more widely known for his work as padre for the Mission branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, of which he was a lifetime member, participating in the annual Remembrance Day ceremonies, Canada Day, funerals and more.

Savage was born Oct. 14, 1925 near Toronto, Ont., said one of his sons, Darryl.

Savage joined the Navy during the Second World War and trained as an anti-aircraft gunner. He spent most of his service off the Atlantic coast on a number of ships, including the HMCS Uganda, searching for submarines.

After leaving the navy, he came to British Columbia where he met his wife of 49 years, Joan, and the couple raised five children. Joan died Oct. 9, 2008 after a short battle with cancer.

Savage earned his bachelor of theology from the Northwest Baptist Theological College in the mid-1960s while pasting at Renfrew Baptist in Vancouver. Years later, said Darryl, he earned an honourary doctorate from Northgate Graduate School.

He rarely shared this bit of personal information, Darryl recounted, because Savage would say with a laugh that if someone saw the degree they might ask him a question.

Five years after coming to Mission, Savage took on the pastorate of the newly formed Sovereign Grace Baptist Church. During this time, he fought and won a battle with cancer, and suffered several strokes. He continued his duties until 1996 when another stroke forced him to retire, and Darryl became the church pastor.

“Though no longer pastor, he was always available,” said Darryl. “I, along with so many others, continued to see him as a friend and mentor. He was always ready to give a helpful dose of wisdom and advice.”

Savage was well known for making himself available day or night for anyone, and for opening his home to someone in need.

This giving spirit led Savage to spend years counselling drug and alcohol addicts at Miracle Valley Treatment Centre, and in 1994, he opened the Christian Learning Centre to guide more people struggling with addictions, and to train others how to counsel and teach the Bible.

In February 2004, then-Mayor Abe Neufeld presented Savage with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his service to Mission and the country.

Savage was also a 50-year-plus member of the Loyal Orange Association and held the office of grand chaplain for several years, said Darryl. He was a member of the Queen Valley Lodge No. 3113 in Maple Ridge as well.

Savage passed away March 22.

Just Posted

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 20

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Most Read