April 8, 2006

Jo Ellen (Patterson) Savage died unexpectedly on April 8 as the result of a tragic accident in Spokane.  She was born on September 1, 1943 in Lewiston, Idaho to Allan D. Patterson and Eleanor Craig Patterson, their first child.  Raised with her brother, John D. Patterson, she graduated from Lewiston High School in June 1961.  Jo attended the University of California at Davis, graduating with a degree in art history in 1968.  She then returned to her beloved Northwest and enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts program at Washington State University where she received her degree in 1970.

Jo’s son, Jesse Allan Savage, was born on March 19, 1977.  Jo and Jesse were very close, sharing a loving circle of family and friends.  Jesse graduated from Pullman High School in 1995, and thereafter attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he graduated in 1999.  Jesse now lives in San Francisco with his fiancée, Elaine Kao.

Jo was a distinguished graphic designer for Washington State University, enjoying a career that extended over 32 years.  In 2001, she joined the team that created the Washington State Magazine.  Serving as the publication’s founding Art Director, Jo was a critical part of its creation and is credited with the magazine’s distinctive design.  She was loved and respected by her professional friends and colleagues.

Jo had wide-ranging interests and talents which she shared with her friends and family.  She was well-read, politically active, a gourmet cook, an enthusiastic knitter, and a passionate gardener.  She  brought creativity and art to all aspects of her life.  She was involved in many civic and university-related groups and organizations, including the Pullman Civic Trust and the WSU Arboretum Committee.

Jo was at the heart of her family—Jesse, her brother, John, and her parents, as well as her extended family—Jesse’s sisters Erin and Katie, his father, Dave, and his step-mother, Sally.  All of her family will miss her deeply.

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Community Congregational United Church of Christ in Pullman.  Donations may be made in Jo’s honor to the Jo Savage Memorial Fund in care of the WSU Alumni Arboretum.  The fund will be used to create a memorial grove of trees at the Arboretum in Jo’s memory.  Donations should be payable to the Alumni Arboretum/Jo Savage Memorial Fund and sent to the Washington State University Alumni Association, PO Box 646150, Pullman, WA 99164.