Remembering Sidney Savage

– Larry Byrne

I am sad today. My friend Sidney Savage passed away last night. Sidney was a good person. She was also a good Democrat – but first and foremost she was a good person. Sidney worked hard for Democratic causes: she was Chair of Mason District; she ran to be a Delegate in the 38th delegate district; she staffed the polls; she licked envelopes; she was part of the Headquarters team and she did everything she could to help. She recruited her husband Stu and his truck to haul crabs for the Mason District Crab Feast. They opened their home for many fundraisers and they were themselves generous contributors. Sidney was an excellent recruiter of new volunteers including training Stu to mark the list and make the phone calls which were so key to our victories. Sidney didn’t always know all the little rules but she always knew what was important and she always did the right thing.

She had been a navy wife and lived around the world while raising her children and she was dedicated to doing that well. When Stu retired from his first career she began to be involved in politics because she believed the political process was important and that it was her responsibility to be involved. No task was too small for her. For years her home was the distribution point for Election Day materials or for any canvassing to be done in Mason District. She would organize the packets and make sure everyone knew what they were to do. Every campaign that covered Mason District found in her a tireless worker and if there wasn’t a campaign in Mason she would be somewhere else in the county working for another candidate. She didn’t however just work for Democrats she worked to make sure democratic principles were being followed in her community.

For years she worked with the immigrant community to help them learn the language, the customs and the magic of America. When a Vietnamese family moved in next door she made them her friends opened her house to them and took up their cause. She became a fervent advocate for Vietnamese Human Rights in Vietnam. She introduced her Vietnamese friends to her political friends and she advocated for their cause. Sidney also educated her new immigrant friends on the way political power worked and helped them develop the capability to further their agenda. She will be much missed in the Vietnamese and immigrant community. She personified the best in America’s willingness to open the door to the oppressed and suffering in the world and welcoming them to this country and what it stands for.

Those who condemn the political parties as too partisan, too entrenched, too special-interest oriented should have spent a little time with Sidney to understand what real political party workers do. What I will miss most is her friendship, her smiling face and her positive attitude. When I called my son to tell him of Sidney’s passing he said to me “That’s so sad she was such a good person.” I can’t think of a better epitaph for anyone than to be remembered as a good person.

Our thoughts and prayers go to their family.