Barbara A. Savitzky Norfolk, Va.

Barbara A. Savitzky, 61, of Norfolk, Va., formerly of Tonganoxie, died July 22, 2009, at her residence in Arlington, Va., following the rapid progression of metastatic breast cancer.
A resident of Norfolk for more than 20 years, Dr. Savitzky was an associate professor of biology at Christopher Newport University, from where she retired in 2008 after 18 years of service. Dr. Savitzky was educated at the University of Tennessee, where she received her doctoral degree in ethology (animal behavior).
An authority on the biology of amphibians, turtles, and reptiles, Dr. Savitzky was known for her work on snakes (including Virginia's endangered Timber Rattlesnake), turtles and salamanders. Born in Bridgeport, Conn., to Helen B. Conner and the late Edward D. Conner, she previously resided in Farragut, Tenn., where she served for several years as a firefighter for Rural/Metro Corporation in Knox County. Dr. Savitzky served on the governing boards and committees of scientific and conservation organizations, including the Hampton Land Conservancy and the Herpetologists’ League, and as an adjunct faculty member at Old Dominion University.
Dr. Savitzky was widely admired for waging a relentless battle against metastatic cancer, for which she received treatment almost continuously for more than 20 years. She is survived by her husband, Alan H. Savitzky of Norfolk; her son, Christopher Allen and his wife, Amy, of Mount Juliet, Tenn., and her daughter, Heather J. Allen of Hampton.
The family suggests donations to The Nature Conservancy or the Humane Society of the United States.