SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — The sister of a local restaurant owner who frequently gave back to the community is honoring her brother’s legacy.
Roanoke County Police say 36-year-old Chauncey Ray Savage died Saturday, Aug. 8, in a motorcycle crash.
Savage owned the Cheesesteak Factory in Salem. His sister, Ayanna Jones says he used his business to help not just those in need, but really, anyone he could.
The shock of her brother’s untimely death was made even more tragic due to a coincidence. Jones says the day he died, she saw a motorcycle crash — and even recorded it with her phone — but it wasn’t until later that she found out it was her brother.
“[I] didn’t catch the accident itself, but [I] caught the smoke and the flames and the action after the fact going on,” said Jones.
Jones says it wasn’t until about 45 minutes later that she found out her brother was involved in the crash and didn’t survive.
“I freaked out. I was sitting down at a restaurant getting the kids something to eat and I freaked out. My phone wouldn’t stop ringing at all,” Jones said.
“If I knew it was my brother at that time, I would have got out of my vehicle and I would have walked up there to the scene.”
Savage leaves behind four daughters and all the work he did to help the community, which is something his sister says he wanted to do since they were young.
“I just always want you all to remember the good things that he’s done and take it from there.”
As an adult, he used his restaurant, the Cheesesteak Factory, to do good for the community.
“When schools shut down for COVID, he was feeding kids for free everyday. He was helping people pay they [sic] rent, pay bills. He would do anything. Anybody called and asked him for help, he would help you out.”
WFXR’s cameras were there for some of Savage’s good deeds, including when he handed out free turkeys for Thanksgiving.
“I just want everyone to know, my brother might be gone, but he’s not gone. He will live on in this city forever, and ever and ever.”
The restaurant has been closed the past few days. Jones says, at the moment, everything with the restaurant is paused. She says they will try to post any updates on Facebook as they get things figured out.
There will be a viewing open to the public on Monday, Aug. 17 from 2 to 6 p.m. at Serenity Funeral home. The funeral will be a private event just for the family, due to COVID restrictions.
Anyone who would like to donate to the funeral funds can donate to Serenity Funeral Home or to the GoFundMe.
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