Cumberland Times-News


February 21, 2014


CUMBERLAND — Gloria Saville, 86, of Cumberland, died Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center.

Born March 5, 1927, she was the daughter of J Holland and Anita Rannells of Three Churches, W.Va. and later Romney, W.Va.

She graduated from Romney High School in 1944 and went to Chicago on the train at the age of 18 to study to be a lab technician.  After returning to Romney she met Buford Saville who was just returning home from the Army Air Corps after spending eleven months as a prisoner of war.  They were married on July 25, 1946 and both attended Potomac State College.

In 1951, Buford and her father, J. Holland Rannells, started Potomac Valley Television Company, Inc., one of the first cable television stations in the country.  Gloria worked at various jobs within the company as it eventually grew to the largest cable television company in the world for most of a decade.  She was in charge of the studio and often appeared on camera in various roles such as newscaster and interview hostess.

Gloria was always active in her community.  She served as Worthy Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star in Romney, was a member of the Women’s Junior Civic club where she performed in the Red Stocking Revue, and she and her friends would often model clothing at charity events.   She was also a member of the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary and then the Western Maryland Hospital Auxiliary.

Gloria started  volunteering  in the Girl Scouts as a brownie leader, then Girl Scout leader and ended up serving as the District Chairman of the Girl Scouts of America for the Shawnee District.  She was awarded Girl Scouting’s highest award for a volunteer.

She was an active member of the Cumberland Theater, where she was famous for the desserts she made for fund raising dinners.  She was also a Board member of the Cumberland Cultural Foundation.

She served on the Allegany College of Maryland Foundation Board, where she and her husband established the Gloria and Buford Saville Scholarship Fund.  They also endowed the Saville Nursing Computer Center, the plaza in front of the new Western Maryland Regional Medical Center and the Saville Gallery at the Allegany Arts Council offices.

In 2000 she and her husband were honored by the Chamber of Commerce as the Outstanding Business Member and in 2004 she received a Muse Award from the Allegany Arts Council.

One of her favorite organizations was the YaYa Investment Club, which she founded in 2002 with fourteen other women and served as its president for ten years.  Their purpose was to learn to research and invest in stocks and she claims they had good success.  She was always interested in the stock market and was giving her broker suggestions on hidden gems right up until her recent hospitalization.  Her favorite stock pick was 3 D companies in which she invested “before anyone knew what 3 D was” she said.

Gloria was preceded in death by her husband, Buford; her brother, John Rannells; and is survived by her three daughters, Sandra Saville, Sue Watkins, married to Tim Watkins, Karen Shanaman, married to Mike Shanaman; as well as five grandchildren, Jonathan and Daniel Bittner, Erica Watkins and Zach, Max and Jesse Shanaman.  She also had two great children, Charlotte and Atticus Bittner.

The family will hold a private funeral service at Scarpelli Funeral Home (, Cumberland, on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 23, 2014 followed by a Celebration of Her Life from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Cumberland Country Club.

Family and friends are encouraged to come to the Celebration to tell a few stories, look over some of her original cards, eat good food and toast to her life.

Memorial donations can be made to The Gloria and Buford Saville Scholarship, Allegany College of Maryland, 12401 Willowbrook Road, Cumberland, MD 21502

Internment will be at Maryland State Veterans Cemetery at Rocky Gap.

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