Geoffrey Carter Savell
July 11, 1948 – March 9, 2021 (age 72)
On March 9, 2021, Geoff Savell passed away of heart attack in Gray, Maine.
Geoff was born on July 11, 1948 in Lisbon Falls, Maine to Walter and Elisabeth (Betsy) Savell. When he was just nine years old, his father Walter died, leaving Betsy, Geoff and his four siblings, Walter, Susie, Tina, and Benny.
After earning a degree in Zoology from Indiana University, Geoff traveled to France for continuing studies at the University of Clermont-Ferrand. There he met Catherine Spijkerman, a French woman who he would marry in 1975 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where Catherine had grown up. The couple moved to Portland, Maine and eventually settled in Towson, Maryland, where they raised their three daughters.
Following a divorce, Geoff was married to Lynn Duggan, a childhood friend, for several years. Years afterwards he married Virginia (Ginny) Ashmore. Later, Geoff moved back to Maine and was unmarried at the time of his passing.
Geoff was a man of many trades who had a knack for fixing anything and liked a job well done. He first worked as a salesman and then as an independent contractor. He built his own company, Backset Enterprises, which specialized in providing doors for new commercial buildings. In his later years he worked at various jobs, including as a substitute teacher. He was an avid reader of history, especially biographies.
Family, friends, and acquaintances knew Geoff as having a big heart and caring deeply about other people. He did many things simply to help others. He was enthusiastic about life’s smallest details, and loved to discuss and debate everything from politics to the big questions of human existence. Geoff was adventurous – in his 60s he biked 180 miles across Maine after major heart surgery, and in his younger years he was infamous for not being able to resist water skiing while at his family’s summer cottage on the coast, even when he was in his formal suit on the way to church. He was also a great snow skier. He loved dancing and singing along to the oldies (“This is one of the great ones!,” he would say when a beloved song came on the radio). He loved bragging about his daughters. He adored when all three were in the same spot for celebrations, and he would be overcome by emotion at simple gifts and cards.
Geoff was a deeply spiritual person, active in the Catholic Church. He served as a lector at Saint Gregory’s in his last years. He was also engaged in his men’s group, Mentor Discover Inspire, which was very meaningful to him. Through the close relationships he built there, he proactively sought to improve himself and become a better person all the way until the last moments of his life.
Geoff is survived by his daughter Stephanie, her partner Peter Klein, and their daughters Sabine and Isabelle; his daughter Nathalie, her partner Jason Wallace, and their children Isaac, Clay, and Clementine; and his daughter Christine. He is also survived by housemates and friends Stan and Steve, siblings Walter and Tina, and extended family and friends. Geoff was a loving grandfather who shared beautiful moments with his young grandchildren and was known for sending quirky gifts.
Dad, you’ll always be in our hearts.
A funeral mass will be held at Saint Gregory’s Roman Catholic Church in Gray, Maine on April 10, 2021 at 10am.
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