Sadly, the world lost a beautiful mind, a revered soul and a dynamic personality with the passing of David D’Audiffred von Savoye, Sr. on July 26, 2022. He was born in Menlo Park, California, on June 5, 1939, to loving parents, Raymond Ludwig and Mary-Elizabeth von Savoye. Having often said, “I am the only hell that my parents ever raised,” I suspect that he acquired his insanely quick-witted sense of humor and affinity for pranks and light-hearted mischief while growing up in Twain Harte and Sonora, California, in a boisterous family among his beloved siblings, and later their spouses too, Sonja Sinclair (Stanley), Raymond von Savoye, II (Julie), Peter von Savoye (Diane) and Paul von Savoye (Ann).There is no doubt that he has received a warm welcome in Heaven from those who have preceded him in death, his adoring parents, Raymond and Mary-Elizabeth, his brother Peter, his sister-in-law Diane, and his beloved son-in-law Steven Diamond.
David was born with an innate sense of wonder and curiosity for the world, in addition to an insatiable thirst for knowledge. These traits, coupled with his unprecedented ability to absorb and retain information, ultimately made him an extraordinarily wise and intelligent man . . . our own living Encyclopedia Britannica. He knew something about everything, and he wasn’t hesitant to playfully remind others that he was seldom factually wrong. Hey was right.
It was his quest for knowledge that led him to pursue a wide variety of hobbies and interests throughout his lifetime. When he had an interest, he learned everything he could and pursued it with great passion, to the fullest extent! He was a well-qualified and conscientious private pilot, an amazing gourmet cook, a highly talented artist, an avid fisherman, a camping enthusiast and a lover of all things nature, just to name a few. He was endlessly creating, innovating and designing, which in his later years resulted in projects that included lovingly installing homemade “critter cams” for he and his grandchildren to watch the raccoons and wildlife around his home. He was very detail-oriented, built beautiful homes to absolute perfection, and he always dreamed big! He was blessed with so many special gifts and unique talents, and he passionately shared his interests with anyone who would listen.
He was also a self-educated historian, in his own right, particularly proud of his heritage, family and ancestry. Long before the ease of the internet and ‘Google’ ever existed, he had already mastered the art of research and self-education. He was a sensational and animated storyteller, a true master of imagery, and there wasn’t a joke that he couldn’t make funnier. His stories never lacked vivid details or enthusiasm, and well, let’s just say, he was definitely not a man of few words! He was a brilliant dichotomy. . . wise, funny, charming and charismatic while simultaneously observant, introverted, and sometimes, quiet, his beautiful mind endlessly working . . .
A contractor by trade, he spent his early years working with Raymond L. of Savoye and Sons Construction, later establishing Savoye-Flake Construction. Throughout his career, he would become a highly-regarded surveyor and draftsperson for Mid-Valley Engineering, Roy Fredrickson Engineering, Delamare Fultz Engineering and the County of Tuolumne as a long-standing member of the Modesto Rotary Club. Prior to retirement, he held great pride, and fondness, for his professional position as Vice President of Engineering with Zagaris Management Services and his beloved Zagaris family. He spent many successful years earning professional accolades, community respect and lifelong friendships.
He married the love-of-his-life, Joanne, over thirty one years ago, and loved her fiercely.
His greatest accomplishments in life were that of his children. Ever present in their lives, he loved his children, David D’Audiffred von Savoye, Jr., Alyce von Savoye-Quinn (Joseph), Anna Diamond (Steven), Jeanette Neu (Steve) and James Grace (Tracy), with the entirety of his heart.
As a man who possessed a childlike wonder and a great love for babies and children, the greatest joy in his life came in the form of his grandchildren David Tune Sarah Neu Cameron Diamond Ethan Neu Spencer von Savoye Kacie Diamond Teagan Grace, Jameson Grace, and great-grandchildren, Hailey, Daniel and Jaxon Tune. He looked forward to many more great-grand babies to come . . . Being “Papa” was simply his favorite role in life.
It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of our beloved husband, father and papa, a treasured man and a very loved soul. Perfectly imperfect, yet ending to a fault, he will be sorely missed by all who knew and love him . . .
A celebration of life will be held on Monday, August 15, 2022, from 11:00am to 1:00pm, at Big Valley Grace Church, located at 4040 Tully Road Modesto, CA 95256. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Shriner’s Hospital for Children, or a charity close to your heart, in addition to hugging your loved ones, sharing a good meal, and a laugh, and enjoying the little things that life has to offer. In his own words. . .
“The older I am, the more there is meaning and substance to life. It’s not futile.
We are all a work in progress. Try your best. It will all come to pass. Don’t look back. Forge ahead. Mistakes are temporary. Accomplishments are forever.
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift from God. That’s why we call it the ‘Present’!!! The best gift ever.”
Published by Legacy Remembers on Aug. 5, 2022.
34465541-95D0-45B0-BEEB-B9E0361A315ATo plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.