Rowland L. Savage
July 3, 1942 – August 8, 2019
Rowland L. Savage
Rowland Savage was the kind of person who would shine a warm light on everyone’s best self- always ready with unabashed praise, an empathetic ear, and a playful story to share. He was a lovable, intelligent, caring man with a witty sense of humor. Throughout his life, career, and health, he faced each challenge with incredible strength and optimism. While away at school, he opted to take the only available single dorm room that had a broken radiator and no heat in order to have the quiet attention needed to focus on his studies. In his career, he chose to teach the hard content- bereavement, suicide prevention, and coping with traumatic loss. In his later years, despite painful neuropathy and decreased energy as a result of multiple battles with cancer, he continued to travel extensively, volunteer in his community, and engage in a robust social life with dear friends and family.
Rowland grew up in Baltimore, Maryland with his sister, Patricia; mother, Dorothea; and father, Milton. He entered the seminary as a young man and later switched to different academic pursuits. After attending St. Charles, he received his B. A. from Mount St. Mary's College in 1967; M.S. from Johns Hopkins University in 1974; and an advanced degree in C.A.S.E., Clinical Theory and Therapy from Johns Hopkins University in 1978. He began his professional career as a teacher at Towson Catholic High School. He was drawn by a need to help young people, so he pursued his licensure as a National Certified Counselor and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. Within the Baltimore County Public Schools system, he became Department Chair, Supervisor, and then Coordinator for the Office of Guidance and Counseling Services where he provided supervision and program leadership for over 250 school counselors serving 162 schools.
Rowland was a sought-after national public speaker and an expert on many topics including youth suicide prevention, crisis management, bereavement counseling, traumatic loss, conflict resolution, peer helper training, and personality disorders. He was involved in numerous teaching roles as an adjunct instructor at Johns Hopkins University, Towson State University, Goucher College, and Loyola College. Rowland was the recipient of the Governor’s Citation for Service in Support of Youth Suicide Prevention, 1996; Excellence in Teaching Award, Johns Hopkins University, 1999; Governor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Suicide Prevention, 2001; and the Maryland School Counselor Association’s Counseling Advocate, 2004. Upon his retirement in 2005 from his position as Coordinator for the Baltimore County Public Schools Office of School Counseling, Rowland received recognition from the County and Maryland State Department of Education commending him for his 38 years of dedicated support to their students.
The love story with his wife, Maureen, is one written for the movies- beginning with laughter and adventure, and ultimately ending with a poetic passing with her asleep by his side only a few days after their 50th wedding anniversary. Maureen and Rowland shared a passion for reading, museums, theatre, opera, and travel. In the beginning of their travels, they lugged a large, green, hard-sided suitcase through adventures in Scandinavia and in subsequent years explored 37 countries together around the world. They sought out unique, educational experiences to understand the history and fully embraced the art, culture, and cuisine in each new place. Together they lived happily in Bel Air, Maryland and brought into their love a son, Jason, and daughter, Kirsten. They would trip over each other’s words to proudly share each accomplishment and accolade as their children grew up and continued to pursue their successful careers in science and art.
Rowland was deeply involved in the Catholic congregation at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Baltimore for over 50 years. He participated in their outreach programs with the city’s indigent population, presented liturgical teachings, and always appreciated the lively discussions with his fellow parishioners who were equally passionate about peace and social justice. After his retirement, Rowland was a proud volunteer for the Harford County Public Library, the Maryland Center for the Arts, and our local affiliate NPR news station. He also relished his newfound role as “Pop-Pop” and lit up with the brightest smile during every precious moment with his grandchildren, Nathan and Claire.
We have no doubt that his lessons from the podiums and in the classrooms have had a powerful reach and undeniable impact in school systems and communities across the country. For Rowland’s friends, family, and loved ones we could also learn a couple vital lessons from his beautiful life. Approach new experiences with an intellectual curiosity. Delight in all the delicious flavors of the world. Listen for the poetic beauty in song and writing while allowing yourself to feel the full operatic arc of emotion. Hear the needs of others. Speak the words that are within your heart. Live life with joy.
We invite all friends, family, and colleagues to a memorial celebration on Friday, September 6th at 11:00 a.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Church, 120 North Front Street in Baltimore, Maryland. In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer contributions to go to The Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools to ensure a brighter future for 112,139 students and 9,076 teachers in 173 schools. • Via website: EducationFoundationBCPS.org/donations-and-gifts/ • Via mail: The Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools Inc. 105 Chesapeake Ave, Suite B1, Towson, Maryland 21204
- Maureen Savage, Wife
- Jason Savage, Son
- Kirsten Savage, Daughter
- Patricia Rock, Sister
- Nathan Glenn Savage, Grandson
- Claire Margaret Savage, Granddaughter
St. Vincent de Paul Church
120 N. Front Street
Rowland L. Savage
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August 20, 2019
Rowland was a year ahead of me in both high school and college, and he was there for me when I left the seminary and reentered the secular world. His social gatherings helped me to associate with girls -- that was one of my initial problems: I thought of them as girls but they were grown women! -- and that was only one of the adjustments he helped me to make.
I would run into Rowland now and again, more so when my wife and I joined St. Vincent's, and he was always positive and upbeat. I appreciated his occasional homilies on a Sunday. I will miss Rowland and always remember him for the crucial help he gave to me when I really needed a friend and guide. I'm sorry that I'm out of town for the service at St. V's; it would have been special to catch up with Skip and so many other friends.
August 20, 2019
I have known Rowland for many, many years. He has always been so very full of life...and devilishness! He frequently stole the babies' booties and then tried to look innocent; he took lots of stickers off of the bananas in the store and placed them on Maureen's lovely clothes...in not very suitable places; and DID he love to tell stories!
One such story was about our trip to Egypt. We were in the airport, where we had been forewarned to not even smile!! Rowland was watching a young lady who was a bit clueless. He was quite amazed while watching her...so amazed that he began to laugh...laugh so hard he had tears streaming down his face. The guards probably were tempted to throw him in jail at that point!
I have always thought so highly of Rowland and greatly enjoyed his company. I think it's time for God to enjoy his stories now.
With great affection, Rita
August 19, 2019
You could always count on Rowland as a wonderful guest and companion. He could spin a yarn like no one else! He was able to instinctively know when a little levity was needed. He had so many anecdotes at the ready and was ever prepared for a pun fest.
One of my favorite memories of Rowland was accompanying him and Jim Butzow to a tiny Orthodox chapel on a Bulgarian promontory to sing morning matins in Latin. The sound and echos were mesmerizing!
Thank you Rowland for all the memories! I love you and miss you, my dear, dear friend.
August 18, 2019
I remember Rowland as being kind, intelligent, witty, and devoted to Maureen. May he Rest In Peace.
August 18, 2019
Rowland Savage was a true Legend!
So thankful I had the privilege to start my School Counseling career under his caring & wise leadership! His words of encouragement & praise will stay with me always. Learning from Rowland always motivated me to shine bright with love for others. Forever grateful for the positive impact he had on my life and the lives of so many! Prayers & love to Maureen and his children. My heart goes out to you Maureen, GES Family Always!!
August 17, 2019
I was extremely fortunate to work with Rowland when I was a secretary at General John Stricker Junior High School way back when. Although I worked in the main office, summers were spent back in the Guidance Office where I got to know what a wonderful, fun, genuine, gentleman that Rowland was. Several years ago and the last time I had the pleasure of running into him was at the Bel Air Target. I was truly devastated to learn that Rowland has gone home because this world won’t be the same without him! I’m sure his family will be comforted knowing how much others thought of him.
August 15, 2019
Rowland . . . my dear friend for over 40 years. I cherish the fact that I was fortunate to know you, Maureen, Jason and Kirsten, plus many other members of your family. We did so much together: ski trips, operas, BSO, and don't let me forget all the fine dining ... and so much more. I could echo what so many people have already said about the tremendous positive impact you had on students, teachers, counselors, administrators, etc. You truly reached out with a love that always came through that beautiful heart you were blessed with.
I thought instead of being an echo, I would share an incident where you absolutely saved the day for me any many others. It was Tuesday, September 4, 1989..... my first day as Principal at Kenwood, having transferred from Owings Mills. The night before two of the Kenwood students had been senselessly murdered during a robbery. My first thought was to call you for help and advice on how to approach this tragic situation with the school population. You came immediately and stayed with me the entire day, helping me chase away reporters who would have, as you stated, created a situation with the students in particular, that we were not prepared to handle at the time. You set up the teams to deal with the grief counseling and they were in place the next day. Also, the assistance you rendered in advising me on how to address the school the next day was invaluable. There you were, in the field, applying all the skills and knowledge you possessed. We opened the next day and everything went as smoothly as possible due to your interventions.
Thanks again Rowland, , for being such a dear friend, both personally and professionally for all those years. Saying I will miss you does not come close to expressing my inner feelings...
August 15, 2019
Rowland's daughter Kirsten was my daughter Brenda's best friend during their school years at Homestead-Wakefield, Bel Air Middle and Bel Air High. I remember a project they worked on at Kirsten's house (now almost 25 years ago) with a video camera, and they won 1st place. Simply put, I loved Rowland's stories and his wealth of information no matter what we talked about. Mr. Rowland and Ms. Maureen were always so kind to Brenda. Roland, you will be truly missed by so many people that you touched. Maureen and family, my prayers and thoughts are with you all.
August 14, 2019
Rowland Savage was by far my favorite educator!! At TC he engaged me in drama skits and Religious studies. He is the reason I am a college professor and substitute high school teacher. A profound and lasting impact. Basically the only faculty member who guided me along at TC. He will be sorely missed..so respected and loved by fellow students. To the family I will be praying for you. Mr. Savage's legacy, is golden. Thank you!
August 13, 2019
I have such fond memories of teaching with Rowland at TC many years ago. He was definitely a dynamic teacher, well-loved and true to his word. So many people have been touched by his service and example. Our most sincere condolences to all his family and friends...
August 13, 2019
Rowland.....you were always a force and friend throughout my professional life....from the supervision of my internship to become a professional school counselor, to being counselors and department chairs in the BCPS system, to providing support and encouragement for our efforts to meet the needs of the more than 2,000 students at Perry Hall High School; you were forever a man whose brilliance, energy, integrity, and consistency lifted us to do our very best in serving students, families, staffs, and the community.....when I think about your impact on the more that 100,000 young learners in Baltimore
County, and all of the stakeholders and the professional staff of our school system, I am in awe..... you taught, nurtured, and led countless graduate students to find fulling careers in school counseling....many have moved on to be department chairs, Pupil Personnel Workers and Superintendent’s Designees....you developed and implemented programs to help students and staffs across the school system, the state and the nation, in identifying, intervening and acting to deal with suicide intervention and prevention, coping with grief and traumatic loss, and child abuse....the ripple effect in on-going and immeasurable in its depth and breadth.....Rowland, you “cracked the sky” in our field providing sustained professional development, and showcasing new best-practices for counselors nation-wide.....and Rowland, you did all of that while providing a loving, cherishing, and fun-loving force in the lives of Maureen, Jason, and Kirsten and your extended family....yours, Rowland, is a life well-lived....a life devoted to the betterment of everyone you encountered.....a life lived fully with energy, robust laughter and great humor, intensity and zestful excitement and commitment.....rest well my friend....peace and love to you, Maureen, and your family....Bruce Seward.
Mary Lee Rockstroh
August 12, 2019
Mr. Savage was a favorite teacher. He ha a warm nature and always took the time to listen. Many times I was so deeply depressed and he would say "Rock" how can I help today. Thank you Rowland. You set the example and did what was best.....you listened! RIP. ......Rock 1971
Julie OBrien Thompson
August 12, 2019
Mr. Savage was THE best teacher I ever had. (TC Class of ‘72). He not only taught us Religion, he lived his faith and showed us how to do the same. He was ahead of his time using multi media in and out of the classroom. I recall trips to inner city Baltimore, taking young kids to the zoo. He showed us how to make movies with social justice themes. Listening to lyrics of contemporary songs and relating the lyrics to our lives. And he was there for me when I needed a spiritual counselor., I’ll never forget the guidance he gave me. God bless you, Rowland and your family.
August 12, 2019
Rowland was a delightful and insightful member of our mystery book group at the Bel Air Library and will be greatly missed!
He also generously shared his time and talents by volunteering at the library and always arrived in a pleasant mood ready to share a chuckle or instigate one! Rowland was always a highlight of our day. May he rest in peace.
August 11, 2019
Rowland was a wonderful colleague and a highly respected professional Counselor-Educator. He always strived for excellence; modeled integrity; and never stopped assisting and encouraging others to find and use their gifts. He really was a Lamplighter who lit pathways so others might avoid stumbling blocks and detours. The rays of his beacon of professionalism impacted the growth and development of many, many counselors and numerous students. One can readily envision him conducting a workshop, teaching a course, and making supervisory visits from school to school. His imprint will remain indelible.
Additionally, he always talked of his family with such deep love and admiration. Indeed, his beacon rays were wide and far reaching and embraced us all!!! Blessings to Maureen, Jason, Kirsten, his sister and grandchildren.
August 10, 2019
Dad's professional career was impressive and this beautiful nomination hangs next to his desk at home:
August 10, 2019
If I knew we were going to visit the Savages, I would anticipate it all week. Never mind the fact that it was the only house at the time where I had remove my shoes at the door. Actually I always kind of liked that. It was like a ritual for entering a different world. It was a perfect place where my brother and I each had a great friend our own age. My brother was Jason’s age and I was just a little younger than Kirsten. We would play all evening until it was time for dinner. Sometimes Maureen would make homemade pierogis. I’ve never had a better pierogi in my life. At some friends’ homes I would be reluctant to sit down to eat with the whole family, because the adults were boring or intimidating. When I spent time with Maureen and Rowland I never felt that way. Maureen was the nicest woman you could imagine and Rowland was one of a kind. When you were around Rowland you could not help but smile or cry laughing. He would he make everyone in the room and himself laugh uncontrollably. Rowland would even laugh at my little juvenile attempts at humor. He had a great way of making us all feel included. Any time with Rowland was like a party.
I remember for one of my Aunt Sandy’s birthday parties Rowland put on a performance for her. He wrapped one of her shawls around his neck and did his best impersonation of Aunt Sandy. “Jim, Jim, watch out for the sheep!” referencing my Aunt Sandy’s penchant for correcting my uncle Jim’s driving on the country roads of Ireland.
Even greater than Rowland’s sense of humor and laughter was the love he showed to his children. Rowland and Maureen raised two fantastic children who were an absolutely essential part of my life growing up. I could not imagine my childhood without the Savages. I cannot imagine the world going forward without Rowland. He was a remarkable and unique soul who brought life and laughter to everyone.
August 10, 2019
Rowland had a great sense of humor and wrote many, funny poems and told great stories. But, my favorite by far was the invisible PowerPoint he did at my retirement party. He used an invisible clicker to explain slides as if they were really there. It was typical Rowland, funny, smart, unique, and perfectly executed.
Now his enormous life force is unleashed to the universe. He will ripen the grapes in Italy, warm the rocks in Europe, push the waves to shore, grow trees in Denver, and be the air around his grandchildren and children. But the most he will save for Maureen. There is a hole in our universe and his energy will fill it. I love you, big guy.