OBIT: Bruno Joseph Savoia

Staff reports

Except for his college years and his tour of duty in World War II, Mr. Savoia was a life-long resident of Donaldsonville, a town he jokingly described as having “growing impossibilities.” He was a graduate of Ascension Catholic High School and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from L.S.U., where he was a member of Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity. Mr. Savoia was a talented musician, who began playing jazz and swing music with an orchestra of youngsters by the time he was 12. His instruments of choice were the saxophone and the clarinet. The first in his family to attend college, Mr. Savoia studied music at L.S.U., much to the chagrin of his father who wanted him to become a pharmacist or a doctor. Mr. Savoia fell in love with L.S.U. and would be a devoted Tiger fan for the rest of his life.

Mr. Savoia completed Officer’s Candidate School at L.S.U. in 1942 and entered the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant. He was promoted to Captain and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. There, he was seriously wounded in January 1945 and left totally paralyzed and blind. Always a fighter, he regained his sight and the use of his right side. Although his days of playing music were over, Mr. Savoia never regretted a day of his military service, which he regarded as one of the proudest episodes of his life. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Battle Star for his service in World War II.

After the war, Mr. Savoia married Sarah Corte, a young teacher from New Orleans, and they settled in Donaldsonville to start a family. He did not lose his love of music and taught music and band in the Ascension Parish public schools. He later added history and government to his repertoire of courses. Mr. Savoia qualified as a guidance counselor and ultimately directed a career services program. He was a member of various professional educational associations before he retired from the public schools in l975.

Mr. Savoia was a parishioner of Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church and a strong supporter of its school system. His alma mater honored him by inducting him into the Ascension Catholic High School Hall of Fame. He also was elected Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus and Knight of the Year of his local chapter. He was a member of his local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Affectionately known as “Prof” or “ Cap,” Mr. Savoia was smart, irreverent and wickedly funny. He loved politics and kept up with current events until the end of his days. An engaging raconteur, Mr. Savoia held family, friends and students in thrall with stories about World War II, American history or the events and characters of the day. Despite the physical challenges he faced throughout his adult life as a result of his war injuries, Mr. Savoia let nothing constrain his sheer joy in living. He just loved people, and they loved him back.

Mr. Savoia is survived by his son, Charles C. Savoia and his wife, Joan; his daughter, Sarah Savoia Vance and her husband, Patrick; and his daughter Ann Savoia Ourso and her husband, Justin. He is also survived by his sister, Joan Savoia Guillot and her husband, Nolan; and his sister-in-law, Bertha (Mrs. Thomas) Savoia. His family includes eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Mr. Savoia was preceded in death by his wife, Sarah Corte Savoia; his parents, Charles and Cosimina Savoia; and his brother, Thomas Savoia.

Mr. Savoia’s family wishes to thank the faithful caregivers who attended to him in his last years.

Visitation will take place at Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church, 716 Mississippi Street, Donaldsonville, Louisiana on Thursday, March 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 10:30 a.m. Arrangements under the direction of Ourso Funeral Home in Donaldsonville. In lieu of flowers, donations in Mr. Savoia’s memory can be made to Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church or the L.S.U. Alumni Fund, 3838 West Lakeshore Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70808.

Condolences can be made at www.oursodonaldsonville.com.