Beloved mother and revered family matriarch, Lillian Dorothy Savage, passed away peacefully on October 25, 2022 at age 102 at the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Roslindale. With a lifetime of accomplishments and service to others, she died just days after attending and fully enjoying her granddaughter’s wedding. Having already lived long enough to see Donald Trump defeated and elected out of office, attending the wedding was her last and most fervent wish.
Born in Lynn, Lillian and brother late Phillip were cherished children of late Nathan and Esther Gass. Lillian enjoyed 52 years of marriage to late A. David Savage. She was the much-loved mother to late Norman Savage and his wife, Judy, and Amy (Savage) Beckley and her husband, Jack. She was the adored grandmother to Jenna and Matthew Savage, and Jesse, Jonah, Jon and Jake Beckley, and she was equally loved by and showed love to their spouses and significant others. She was great-grandmother to Samantha, Lilly and Casey Beckley, and Evy and Charlie Savage.
Lillian was a feminist before it was popular. While she graduated from Boston University Summa Cum Laude and Class Valedictorian and then Boston State Teacher’s College, also Summa Cum Laude, one of her most cherished honors was being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. In 1969, Lillian began teaching history at Sharon High School until her retirement at age 85. During her tenure, she founded the Student Coalition Against Hatred and Racism, attended Sarah Lawrence (1976) to write a Woman’s History curriculum, and wrote and initiated a Black History class. While teaching, she was active in politics such as being a founding member of Common Cause in 1963, for which she was the Sharon Coordinator. She was the chairperson of the Sharon Democratic Committee, a delegate to the 1972 Democratic Convention and took students to Washington, DC as part of the “Close Up” program. In 2006, she received an “Unsung Heroines” award at the State House. In 2017, at age 97, she organized and led a group of residents at her supportive senior housing residence to attend the Women’s March at Boston Common.
At home with family, Lillian was just mom, grams or Gigi. She was warm, generous and always kind. She cherished family and reveled in family get togethers. In her younger years, she hosted holiday parties and took pride in preparing traditional ethnic foods. She hid the Afikomen in the piano bench. Every summer, she and David rented a cottage on Cape Cod and hosted children and grandchildren for precious family vacations. She shared books, she cut out clippings from the newspaper to share with friends and family, and no matter her age, she was interested in everyone and kept track of the details of their lives.
In recent years, Lillian lived in supportive senior living at the Marilyn and Andre` Danesh Family Residence in Brookline. There, she made many friendships, participated actively in building sponsored activities, and was an avid bridge player. She led a resident book club and continued her political interest by being involved with voter registration. She also participated in a longstanding book club, begun in 1985. with whose members she has maintained close friendships.
Her funeral service will be held at Schlossberg Family’s Chapel on the Hill, 824 Washington St., Canton, on Friday, October 28th at 10:00 am. Interment to follow at Sharon Memorial Park, 40 Dedham St., Sharon. Following the funeral, friends and family are invited to gather at the home of Judy Savage from 12 noon to 5 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Lillian’s name may be made to Hebrew Senior Life, 100 Centre St., Brookline, MA 02446 or to a charity of your choice.