Keith L. Savage Courtesy Savage family

Keith L. Savage, a longtime probation and parole officer for the Maine Department of Corrections, died Saturday after a brief fight with cancer. He was 80.

Mr. Savage worked for the Department of Corrections for 25 years in the Portland office, supervising parolees and people on probation, and doing pre-sentencing investigations for the courts.

A former colleague described him as a fair and hardworking parole officer who was respected in the probation department.

“He was well-liked and did his job well,” said David Eldridge of St. Augustine, Florida. “I think the courts respected his opinions.”

Mr. Savage grew up in Portland and attended Deering High School. At age 17, he left school to join the Army, his family said, becoming a member of the 82nd Airborne Division and serving two tours during the Vietnam War.

He received numerous commendations including the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Bronze Service Star, and a parachutist badge.

Mr. Savage worked briefly for the Portland Police Department as a patrolman in 1962. In October of that year, he joined the New York City Police Department. He left the city in 1964 to return to the Portland Police, where he served until 1966.

Mr. Savage earned his GED in 1959 and continued his education at the University of Maine at Portland, graduating in 1968 with a degree in education.

Mr. Savage continued his service with the Army Reserves and later served in Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia as part of a Military Police unit, his daughter said.

“The Army was a really important part of his life,” Sarah Savage said.

Mr. Savage raised two children. His daughter cried Tuesday recalling memories of him being at their school plays and track meets. She laughed remembering a water fight her father and brother had inside the house. She reflected on the year she went skydiving and showed her father the video.

“He ended up giving me the pair of wings he received for being a paratrooper,” his daughter said. “That was cool. It was really special.”

Mr. Savage was a member of the VFW in Portland, where he served breakfast every third Sunday of the month. He also plowed snow for the Saco Army Reserve unit for many years.

Mr. Savage had a passion for the outdoors and enjoyed snowmobiling in Rangeley, hunting near the St. Croix River and fishing trips to the Allagash River.

His daughter said he went on a hunting trip with friends every November for at least 40 years. She said the trips were more about the camaraderie with friends, than hunting.

“He loved those guys,” she said. “He did that for years and years. He even held on to his ATV because he was hoping to make it up there one more time.”

Services for Mr. Savage are being handled by A.T. Hutchins Funeral and Cremation Services in Portland, the family said.

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