For the week of September 2 thru September 8, 1998  

Audrey, Jim Saviers mark 50 years of marriage

They met in Sun Valley and wed in 1948


By Jeff Cordes
Express Staff Writer

Audrey and Jim Saviers returned to their home in Anchorage, Ak. Aug. 24 with fond memories of spending two months of summer in their beloved Sun Valley, Idaho.

"Coming to Sun Valley every summer is kind of like coming home," said Audrey, who waitressed and worked in the Sun Valley Ice Show in the late 1940s.

They visit Sun Valley each summer, but 1998 was special.

On Aug. 15, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a well-attended party arranged by their four daughters. It was held at the Ketchum American Legion Hall.

Officially, 74-year-old Jim Saviers has been a member of the David Ketchum American Legion post for the past two years, so Denny Pace helped the Saviers family arrange for the use of the hall.

Few people are more deserving.

Jim is a 10th Mountain Division veteran who served in Italy from 1942-45 and earned a Silver Star. Several years ago, Audrey did much of the legwork in obtaining the names of the 42 Sun Valley veterans of World War II and getting the 10th Mountain Division plaque installed in Sept. 1995 near the Sun Valley flagpole, at the mall.

About 100 people attended the anniversary party. A band played music. Old friends traded stories and memories. It was the same day as the Sun Valley Old Timers picnic, which Audrey and Jim also attended. They thoroughly enjoyed getting reacquainted with the old crowd.

Six days later, just before their return to Alaska, Audrey observed her 73rd birthday with another party in Sun Valley.

Although the couple has been gone from Sun Valley for nearly 50 years, living first in Montana and finally in Alaska, Audrey and Jim Saviers’ association with Ketchum and Sun Valley goes way back.

Jim’s father and grandfather were pioneer Idahoans.

Jim was the younger brother of Dr. George Saviers, the country doctor from Twin Falls who delivered 2,200 babies during his 35 years of family practice at Sun Valley’s Moritz Community Hospital. Dr. Saviers died June 23, 1994 in Sun Valley at the age of 78.

Dr. Saviers, who moved to Ketchum in 1953 in partnership with Dr. John Richards Moritz, became the doctor and confidante of Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway when the writer settled in Ketchum permanently in 1958.

They were the sons of a newspaperman, who wrote for papers in Hailey, Shoshone and Twin Falls.

Although he was younger than George by eight years, Jim actually arrived in Sun Valley earlier than his older brother. When he was 16, in 1940, Jim worked in the summer at Redfish Lake. He met the famous Sun Valley guide Taylor Williams.

"Taylor was so impressed with Jim that he asked him to come work at Sun Valley as a guide," said Audrey. During his years at Sun Valley, Jim worked guiding guests and also at the Sun Valley Sports Desk.

Born in Skaneatales, N.Y., Audrey came from a different background. She attended Temple University in Philadelphia where in 1945 she was freshman queen and head drum majorette. She also went to Syracuse University before her family up and moved to Seattle.

"I had two goals in life at that time," Audrey said. "First, I wanted to get to Sun Valley, and second I wanted to get to Hawaii. Fortunately I was able to do both."

She came to Sun Valley in April 1947 and skated on the line in the summer Sun Valley Ice Show. She waittressed all over the resort—in the Lodge, in the Ram, at Trail Creek Cabin and in the Continental.

How did she meet Jim?

Audrey said, "Well, just by looking at each other, right there in Sun Valley."

They married Dec. 5, 1948. Two years later, their daughter Sharon was born on the third floor of the Lodge, just before the young Saviers family left Sun Valley permanently to live in Billings, Mt. in 1950.

Jim accepted a public relations job with the Winchester Arms Company, traveling quite a bit and attending trapshoots on behalf of the company. Audrey was happy to have her husband home more when Jim worked his way into a job as an "oil scout" for the Pan American Petroleum Co., predecessor of Amoco.

They transferred to Anchorage in 1965 where Jim was needed to secure land for Amoco. Audrey recalled, "We got off the plane and the kids asked if we really had to live here? It was a mess, right after the big earthquake. We lived in a hotel for two months and then built our house. We love it here."

In 1976, they bought a condominium in Maui, where they spend time in the winters. Jim retired from Amoco after 34 years in 1986.

Planning the recent anniversary party were their four daughters.

Eldest daughter Sharon Rose, 47, who went to school at Southern Oregon, works at an art gallery in Salt Lake City. Sidne Jones, 46, also lives in Salt Lake City and is pursuing a Masters degree in nursing after attending the University of Tulsa.

Susie Halverson, 43, and her husband Todd live in Anchorage and operate a moving company there, with Susie the vice president. Stacey Clark, 37, and her husband Mark keep themselves busy running four gift shops located across from the aquarium at Monterey, Ca.

Audrey and Jim have seven grandchildren—six boys and a girl. The family manages to do quite a bit together, despite the distances separating them. Just this past spring, the three generations went hiking at Zion National Park in Utah.

 

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