BTC Charlies Francis Savoie, USCG (Ret)

Obituary published in The Hammond Daily Star on 12/8/2006 -

SAVOIE, CHARLES FRANCIS - Charles "Charlie" Francis Savoie BTC, a member of the "greatest generation," died peacefully on December 4, 2006 at North Oaks Hospital in Hammond, La. Charlie had lived in Loranger since 1969. He was born January 4, 1923 in Sellers (Norco), La. to Ignace A. and Agnes Renoudet Savoie and grew up in Metairie, La.

He joined the U.S. Navy with his brother, John, in 1940. They served together on the destroyer, Ellis until after the Sullivan brother tragedy. He was then transferred to the tanker, Mississinewa. The Mississinewa was struck by a Kaiten Japanese suicide torpedo. Carrying 440, 000 gallons of fuel, the ship was immediately engulfed in flames and sank after two hours. Sixty-three crew members were killed in the attack. Charlie always said it was a Novena that his mother sent him that saved his life. He continued to pray the rosary throughout his life.

He transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard in 1948. He served on the cutters Tampa Sebago (Mobile, AL) and the Winnebago (Honolulu, HI). His final service before retiring was fittingly aboard the Ponchatrain (Long Beach, CA). He felt an enduring bond with his shipmates and 40 years after retiring, he was still the "Chief." Over the years, he organized and attended many reunions.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 62 years, Esther A. Deitze, two daughters, Kathleen Savoie and Romona Hechtl, three sons, Charles, Brian, and Curtis Savoie, his brother, Marion Savoie, 20 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Earline Himel, brother, I. John Savoie, his sons, Glenn, Stephen and Douglas Savoie and his daughter, Charmaine Savoie. Chief Savoie will be placed to rest at sea with military honors in the spring. Charlie will be missed by his family and friends.

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