Obituary: Savage, Sally Purintun

TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2013

SAVAGE, Sally Purintun (Age 61) Passed away in Seattle on July 11th, 2013, in the company of her family after a brave struggle with cancer.

True to character, she remained the family beacon of courage, strength, and love despite the circumstances.

Sally was born September 28th, 1951, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Orin and Elizabeth Purintun.

She married David W. Savage on August 1st 1982, in Pullman, Washington, where they made their home and raised their three children.

Sally is survived by David, her children, Jesse, Erin and Kathryn, her sisters, Ann Elizabeth Purintun and Teresa Purintun, her brother, Alan Purintun, and her grandchildren, Chloe and Audrey.

Jesse resides in Mountain View, California, with Elaine, his wife, and their daughters, Chloe and Audrey.

Erin resides in Boone, North Carolina.

Kathryn resides with her father at the moment, having taken a year off from work to care for her mother.

Sally attended Duke University and graduated in 1973 from Macalester College in political science and history, magna cum laude.

In 1977, she graduated with a juris doctorate from the University of Idaho, magna cum laude.

Sally was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Sigma Alpha and Phi Alpha Theta.

In 1992, she received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Idaho, College of Law.

She joined the Washington State Attorney General’s Office in 1977, as an Assistant Attorney General.

In 1978, Sally was assigned to Washington State University (WSU) as an Assistant Attorney General; two years later she was named the Senior Assistant Attorney General and Chief Legal Counsel to WSU by then Attorney General Slade Gorton.

She tried cases involving higher education issues and argued cases in the Washington appellate courts, including a groundbreaking gender discrimination claim in the Washington State Supreme Court.

Sally was a skilled lawyer and brilliant advocate for WSU.

Thereafter and for nearly 30 years, Sally served as an administrator for WSU in a variety of key positions, working with four university presidents.

In 1990, President Samuel H. Smith first hired her to serve as University Counsel in his office.

Smith later expanded her role to include service as Vice President for Administration.

Over the course of her career, she also served as Vice President for University Relations and Vice President for Advancement.

Sally’s contributions to WSU were many, varied, and valuable.

As Vice President for University Relations, her team developed WSU’s current logo and its prominent tagline, “World Class.

Face to Face.”

In this position, she led over 150 people in many departments, including marketing communications, the WSU News Service, the Washington State Magazine, WSU Today, Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum, university publishing, and alumni relations.

Sally loved WSU and the people with whom she worked.

She was universally recognized for her integrity, intelligence, selfless commitment and drive for equality.

On her retirement in 2009, President Elson Floyd said: “Sally Savage has given this institution truly remarkable service over a period of 30 years in a variety of significant administrative roles.”

President Samuel Smith describes Sally as “a colleague and friend whose integrity and sensible logic in resolving problems influenced all she worked with and advised.”

Sally also made important contributions to the Washington State Bar Association.

She served as Foundation President, leading the development of the Washington State Bar’s Foundation in its mission to increase diversity and improve the public’s access to, and understanding of, the justice system.

Sally’s first love was her family, and her highest accomplishments were her successes as a wife, mother, daughter, and sister.

She raised three highly accomplished and caring children.

She supported David and his partners in their private law practice.

She provided loving care for her parents, older brother and sister, David’s parents, and many friends.

Sally looked forward to nurturing her family into the future and her new role as Grandmother.

Sally will be profoundly missed but leaves a legacy of love and strength.

A service celebrating Sally’s life will be held Monday, July 22nd, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the Community Congregational United Church of Christ located at 525 NE Campus Avenue Pullman, WA.

The family suggests any acknowledgements be made in Sally’s honor to the American Cancer Society.

Kimball Funeral Home of Pullman, Washington is caring for the family.

Online condolences may be sent to


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