Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Epilogue | Doris Marcopoulos Savalli

Doris Savalli: Clearwater woman devoted herself to motherhood

CLEARWATER — Watching Pride and Prejudice, she knew the swashbuckling soldier was not right for Keira Knightley, that the seemingly haughty Mr. Darcy was really the one.

She knew these things because she watched the film often, sometimes several times a week.

Doris Savalli, a slightly plump woman with a wide smile and generous spirit, delighted in the courtly dress and language of the 18th century.

"I think she liked the old-time culture, the way we used to be a very long time ago," said her husband, Fred Savalli, 74.

And that Colin Firth was pretty cute, too.

In a life cut short by illness, Mrs. Savalli celebrated classical music, big dinners and motherhood. She died Wednesday of unknown causes. Mrs. Savalli was 73.

Doris Marcopoulos grew up in Brooklyn, sharing a two-story house with her extended Greek family. She shouldered responsibility for helping to take care of younger siblings, finding release on the piano.

In 1960 she met Fred Savalli, an aeronautical engineer, at a Christmas party. Afterward she said she would take the ferry; he insisted on driving her home.

They married several months later. Apart from helping her husband in a business venture, Mrs. Savalli devoted herself full-time to raising the couple's five children.

"She and I both felt that the highest calling for a woman is to be a mother," Savalli said.

For several years they lived in Japan and Saudi Arabia, following the demands of his job. They enjoyed living in countries thousands of years old.

In Clearwater most of the time since 1971, the Savallis opened their home to their friends and their children's friends. Anyone stopping by at dinner time was expected to take a plate, or at least stay for coffee.

She liked to play Beethoven and Mozart on the piano; around the house she sang show tunes — The Sound of Music, West Side Story.

Husband and wife "annoyed each other," said Marianne Vanness, Mrs. Savalli's daughter. But for nearly 48 years, the chemistry worked.

Vanness, 46, always wanted to be a mother like her mom. It's a learning experience, she said.

"I find the same things coming out of my mouth with my 16-year-old daughter: 'Is that what you're going to wear?' "

Mrs. Savalli entered Morton Plant Hospital recently for flu-like symptoms. Her husband suspects a drug-resistant infection might also have contributed to her death. In recent years, diabetes cost her most of her sight.

The Savallis still traveled to Orlando to hear their granddaughter play the cello with the Florida Young Artists Orchestra. After all, Mrs. Savalli told her family, she could still hear. And when she closed her eyes, she could still see.

Andrew Meacham can be reached at ameacham@sptimes.com or (727) 892-2248.

.Biography

Doris Savalli

Born: Aug. 9, 1935.

Died: April 8, 2009.

Survivors: husband, Fred Savalli; daughters, Julianne, Stelianne and Lorianne Savalli, Marianne Vanness and her husband, David; son, Sebastian Savalli and his wife, Anna; sisters, Ellen and Estelle Marcopoulos; six grandchildren.

Service: 11 a.m. today; Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 409 S Old Coachman Road, Clearwater.

Doris Savalli: Clearwater woman devoted herself to motherhood 04/13/09 [Last modified: Monday, April 13, 2009 9:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of July 16, 2017

    Blogs

    Seems like Broward County has started a domino effect. It was the first school board to commit to filing a lawsuit against the state and its controversial education bill, House Bill 7069. Then, the St. Lucie County School Board signed on, too. A running tally of school boards that have reportedly expressed interested in …

    Kali Davis (left), training director for Springboard to Success, helps to coach Justin Black (center), who will be starting his third year of teaching PE at Melrose Elementary, as he works to instruct students in a math lesson during the Spring Board program of Summer Bridge at Woodlawn Elementary School in St. Petersburg.
  2. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  3. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees

    Politics

    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  4. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  5. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact

    World

    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.