By Lucha Ramey
On Thursday, June 18, Penn High School hosted a public visitation on behalf of the family of Nick and Jack Savage to accommodate the large outpouring from the community. The brothers died tragically overnight on Sunday, June 14 after attending graduation parties of what St. Joseph County and South Bend Police departments suspect were accidental overdoses caused by the lethal combination of prescription drugs and alcohol. Both were Penn alumni; Nick (19) was a member of the Class of 2014 and Jack (18) just graduated in May 2015. They are survived by their parents and two younger brothers.
As expected, the turnout of community members who came to pay their respects was very large. One estimate put it at 1,300. Many people from the P-H-M family were present including current and former Penn students, faculty and staff from all the P-H-M schools the boys had attended. A large number of hockey players, parents and coaches from Penn High School's championship club hockey team and other community teams came to comfort the Savage family. Time on the ice had been a big part of the boys’ lives. Nick was a member of the 2011 state championship team and Jack the 2015 championship team. Both state title banners hung on other side of the caskets. The family provided lots of photos and other memorabilia from the boys' young hockey careers along with other family photos to share with the community. Mourners were invited to bring their own pictures and make scrapbook pages with memorial messages that the Savage family would reflect on later.
At the close of the public visitation, a large group of Penn students gathered outside the school for a candlelight vigil. Students comforted one another both in moments of silence and by sharing their memories of Jack and Nick and their thoughts about the loss. Penn counselors have been actively involved helping students cope with the events of the last week, and will continue to provide support.
Posted Friday, June 19, 2015 / 11:30 a.m. EDT