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Nan Savage Healy

A message from Nan Savage Healy's Family - July 2018

We want to update you all on Nan's condition. As many of you know, she has been battling advanced ovarian cancer for seven years, and, unfortunately, we are at a point now where the cancer is taking over... She is being taken care of at home by her daughter, Kathryn, and son, Wil.

She wanted to share her gratitude for each and every one of you and the Desert Explorers as a whole. She began four-wheel driving in the 1990s with Bill and Dottie Mann, who welcomed her into their 4x4 family. Soon, she upgraded from her little Subaru-Forester-that-could to an X-Terra and became 'X-Terror' Nan! Eventually, the Desert Explorers became her 4x4 family, and she would often bring her children on trips from the time they were in elementary school to past college!

She developed wonderful friendships with her fellow Desert Explorers and always looked forward to the next trip. Thank you, all, for welcoming her into your group and into your lives. She holds her many wonderful memories of the Desert Explorers dear.

Any messages you would like to share with Nan can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and her family will make sure that she gets them. Thank you.

With warm regards,

Kathryn Savage


A tribute from Bob Jaussaud

Nan Savage Healy

The Desert Explorers is a uniquely diverse group. Each of our members contribute something special to the whole. None more so than Nan Savage. Her career and doctorate were in very different fields, but she loved exploring the desert. Her passing has left a huge hole. We were so lucky that she was a part of our group and that we had the opportunity to know her a bit.

I did not know Nan well but, as most of us probably have, I share some fun memories with her. My first recollection of Nan is on John Page’s Eureka Corridor Trip. This was Desert Bill days and every trip was an exploratory of sort. Nan showed up with her low-slung Subaru. It took a lot of doing and quite a bit of direction from John, but Nan made it! Not too long after that trip Nan traded in her Subaru for a legitimate 4x4. 

Nan was an accomplished 4x4 driver when she went on Jay’s spectacular trip through the El Paso Mountains. After a rugged drive, we camped unknowingly on the back side of a “no camping” sign. We had approached from the back on a little known road. When we finally discovered the sign, the decision was to move, but in the morning.

The last time I saw Nan was at the 2017 Desert Explorer Christmas Party at Allan and Ding’s beautiful home. At that time Nan told me that her cancer had flared up and she thought it might her last DE Christmas Party. Her wish was to enjoy the party and have some laughs.

I wish I could hear her laugh again.

~ Bob Jaussaud