Remembering Carl Savage…

I was poised to write a series recap today but that probably won’t happen as it seems incredibly less important after finding out about the passing of longtime friend and Portland Winterhawk supporter, Carl Savage.

I’ve known Carl since I was a teenager and we both sat in Section 52 at the Memorial Coliseum.  He always had a big smile and a strong handshake and he was a person that I was always happy to see at the games.   He supported his team in many ways – from the goal club and booster club to traveling to away games to watch the Hawks play.  He valued his Colton Sceviour game worn jersey and wore that in more than just a few away barns.

I know that he had a tough go the last few years, but was shocked when I got the news this morning.  It was fitting, I suppose, that I was at one of my daughter’s swim meets as Carl always was interested in how Aiden performed at the meets and supported her financially in her annual swim-a-thon fundraisers.

While it would have been great to be calling Game 6 of the WHL Final this afternoon, I am glad that I am not, as it would have been very tough emotionally to call the game knowing Carl wouldn’t be by his radio listening.  He now has the best seat in the house and I hope his team always wins…

Carl was not a man of wealth…but myself and my family are richer for having known him.

Godspeed, my friend…I’ll think of you each time I enter a hockey arena…



  1. Thanks Andy, I too will think of Carl as I attend hockey games.

    Spent many a road trip with Carl.

    I was always amazed at the number of folks on the road who’d come
    up and greet, “say hello” to Carl. Wow he knew alotta folks.

    Carl also had been phoning me for the road updates this playoff run.

    Thanks again Andy. Steve

  2. I got a call from my daughter this morning telling me of Carl’s passing. I am not ashamed to be writing this as I cry. Carl was one of the most giving, wonderful people I have know in my life. He was one of the first friends I made when I moved to St. Helens in 1977. When my kids Erin and Nolan were young back in the 1990’s during my time calling the Chiefs, Carl would make his way up to the booth to get them and take them to the front door of the Coliseum to wait for their mother to arrive to pick them up around 9 while I worked. The kids are both sad to lose their friend today just like their dad. I’m a better person for having known Carl and having him in my life these last 34 years. God bless.

  3. I am not sure which was his first love hockey or softball? I hear he was a good person in your lives as he was mine. I know Carl from the softball fields. He was a huge supporter to our softball team Smokey’s Pizza that was some 15-20 years ago. He was always there for every game and practice. He would always take me home if I didn’t have a ride, he was always supportive like a father. Always had a smile on his face and was always happy to help. Like each of you I am a better person having known Carl Savage. Rip my old friend… for there is nothing like hockey rinks and softball fields in heaven. Enjoy my friend you truly deserve them, your memory will live on.

  4. I am hoping that someone from The Winter Hawk Community and or VGSA community will post any information regarding Carl and a funeral or a memorial. We all would like to pay our respects to our fallen friend.

    Thank you-

  5. I had the chance to know Carl for but a few years and was proud to have him as a member of the Booster Club and a representative on this year’s council. He redefined the word volunteer. and the word FRIEND.

    I spoke with Carl’s sister tonight and it is amazing how straightforward she is able to be at this time. It is my understanding that the service will be either just prior to or the day of what would have been his 56th birthday (May 23).

    The service will take place at the church he attended in Brush Prairie and details should be released within the next day or so.

    Virginia told me that she will post the information on Carl’s Facebook page for those who don’t get the Columbian Newspaper.

  6. I was one of the lucky ones that got to know Carl while playing for Smokey’s Pizza. He was a great father figure. He was always at our games and driving us in his van for out of town tournaments. He always had a smile on his face and was such a wonderful person. You will truly be missed. RIP Carl you are in a better place now. You are an angel watching over all of us.

  7. I am one of the very lucky ladies that got to share the softball with Carl. I always knew that no matter how bad of a Play I made( and I did make them) Carl was there with a smile to tell me, it is Ok,
    I can remember one summer Carl sat with me for over an hour waiting for my Mom to pick me up, he never onece looked has his watch, he just talkedabout softball and how I could be a better asset to our team. Smokies Softball team was his life during the spring and summer months, He never complained..
    I feel like I am a better person for knowing Carl, and I know there is countless other people who will say the same… RIP Carl.. You were one of the great ones and severaly missed already!!!

  8. Andy is there any way that we could get the Rose Garden and Coliseum to retire the seat in each arena that Carl had. I think this would be a fitting tribute to a great fan.

  9. Thank you for sharing this, Andy. I met Carl while on the Eastern Swing back in 2000, and have chatted with him at home games ever since. I couldn’t hold back the tears when I learned of his passing yesterday. He was one of the most loving people I’ve ever met, and I will really miss him.

  10. Carl Savage represented everything good about major-junior hockey in Portland. He will always be Portland Winterhawks’ hockey and forever a huge part of the foundation of fans on which our beloved Winterhawks organization stands.

    Carl was my friend and frequent travel partner on our fly/drive Hawk-following adventures to Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Even though it’s just over 3 years ago, it just seems like yesterday we traveling Portland fans were in Edmonton, Alberta to play the Oil Kings in their initial season. But even more fun was to be the party in Sherwood Park at the Mucha’s house with all of Kurtis’ family, friends, neighbors, and especially Kurtis’s former billet-mate (in Portland) Cameron Cepek. Cameron, an Oil King player, was there because the Mucha’s billeted him during his time with Edmonton and because he knew most of the fans coming to the party.

    Like many of us, for Carl it was always about the family element and the fans part in helping transform our players from boys into young men.

    I will miss him terribly. As Andy said, God-speed my friend until we meet again.

  11. Carl’s absence will be felt as sadness many people . . . a testament to the positive presence he was in the lives of so many.

  12. Hey Andy:
    Just forget about the recap of the series, the lost lost. The biggest play was the overtime power play in game 4 . If the Hawks win game 4 the series is tied 2-2 instead going down 3-1 . I was somewhat surprised the Hawks did show the urgency in the 2nd and 3rd periods, but it was a great sesson. My wishes go out to Carl’s family and the entire Winterhawk family. He was a great person.

    Enjoy the golf game Andy

  13. Andy, Thank you for taking time to share with us your memories of Carl, as to the rest of you. I first meet Carl about five seasons ago when I became a volunteer with the Hawks. He always had a smile and a hello every time I saw him, as well as a good poke at me and my jersey. We both are Colton Sceviour fans and both have his jersey. His was a “Game Worn” jersey, were as I had to buy mine. He always teased me jokingly about how he had a game used jersey and I didn’t. I’m going to miss seeing and talking to him at the games.

  14. It was a heartbreaking moment when i read that Carl had passed away. I will miss the friendly ribbing and banter with him. Hawks games will never be the same without his presence. AT least he got to see the boys have one heck of a season! Rest in peace my friend!!

  15. I was soooo sad to hear that Carl had passed. I’ve been going to WinterHawks games since I was 9. I am not 27. I remember Carl from my younger days. He’s always been a father figure in my life. I loved him for his kindness, his care, and the fun of talking hockey and NASCAR together. We always bragged to eachother about the races we’d go to, going to, or went to. I will miss him so much!
    Love you Carl…one of your many adopted daughters, Danielle Embree of Longview, WA

  16. Although I never met Mr. Savage, I will say that he will be missed, and I say this just by the post’s that I have read here.
    We all lose friends and loved ones, and its never a good day when that happens, but OUR family, the Winterhawks family is a strong and everlasting one.
    I lost my Mom last November due to Alzhiemers Disease, She too was a Hawks fan and loved the excitement of the crowd when our boys scored a goal.
    Thank you for all you do for us…

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