A gift to my aunt

On Dec. 17, 1988, a tragic car accident happened that was to change the lives of the Savage family. Susan Savage, then 5 years old, lost her grandmother, Jane Savage, when her grandmother was only 43.

"I actually remember her back yard," said Susan Savage, who will be 23 on Tuesday, the same age her mother, Charlene Savage, was when her grandmother died. "I remember rocking in a chair."

Susan Savage remembers her grandma as a "local hero," winning an award during her 15 years working at the Gardnerville and Carson City post offices. Dec. 11 was her grandma's birthday, just six days before the anniversary of her death, always a hard time for her aunt.

"Grandma died when she was 43, this year my aunt is 43," said Susan Savage.

"I was thinking this would be a nice dedication," she said. "My aunt is having a hard time letting go. I was thinking it would be a real nice Christmas present."

Susan Savage is trying to put the pieces of her life together. She left home when she was in eighth grade and is slowly recalling memories of when she was a child. She said her grandmother was the one who "saved her" by not letting her be put up for adoption.

"Grandma picked me up from the hospital," she said.

Two years ago Susan Savage moved back to Carson Valley to be closer to her family.

Her aunt is able to fill in some of the blanks by telling her stories about her life.

Jane Savage had been traveling to visit her daughter in Mammoth Lakes when the accident occurred, according to a Dec. 22, 1988, Record-Courier article.

One of Jane Savage's good friends worked with her at the Gardnerville Post Office.

Brenda Mauk, 55, who retired from the post office in April, said she met Jane Savage at the post office when it was located by Raley's. Savage left the post office and baby-sat Mauk's children before landing a job at the Carson City Post Office.

"Jane baby-sat my kids. She was terrific with my kids," said Mauk. "She was terrific. She'd do anything for anybody. She was one of my best friends.

"She was a very special person. Her loss was really tough."


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