James Earl Collvins, a man whose greatest achievement is that of beloved husband, father, son, and brother, died August 15, 2021, at the age of 63 after a multi-year, epic battle with cancer.
Big Jim was, in fact, the ultimate warrior and larger than life in all aspects of his existence. He played hard, he partied hard, he loved hard, he worked hard. He was quick tempered and could be demanding and difficult, yet he was the first to offer help, crack a joke, donate to those in need, and show his family in a multitude of ways how much he loved them. He was as tender as he was tough.
Jim was born on August 28, 1957, in Seattle, Washington, to James and Shirley Collvins. The second oldest of three children, his Navy family lived in multiple locations, including Hawaii, before they settled in Salt Lake City. Jim graduated from Hillcrest High School and then joined the US Navy. He served three years, from 1974 to 1977, on the USS Robinson, a guided missile destroyer.
Several years after his discharge, he met his match in Georgie Smilanich, a woman who kept him constantly on his toes and with whom he built a life full of adventure. They married on June 13, 1987, and soon had two children, James and Madison, and settled in the Salt Lake Valley. Jim worked in the oil industry for many years, but finished his career with a six-year stint at Nutrien, one of the world’s largest fertilizer companies, as an Analytical Engineer. He wrote procedure manuals for piping and instrumentation and traveled extensively throughout Canada conducting inspections for the company. Through it all, Georgie was Jim’s rock and best friend, and she lovingly supported and cared for him throughout his many surgeries, procedures, treatments, and other difficult times. They loved to travel and took many vacations with family and friends, most recently to Hawaii with their kids and to Ireland and England with their best friends, Kelly and Zdenek.
One of Jim’s greatest passions was riding his Harley and the relationship he built with the Barons Motorcycle Club. He was a proud Baron for 21 years and loved riding with his Baron brothers and being part of their brotherhood. He was elected president of the club in January 2020 but stepped down seven months later due to his health issues.
Jim’s other passion was family, which he considered his wealth and pride and joy. One of his greatest wishes is that his son and daughter, James and Maddie, who he loved and was so proud, find peace, love, and happiness in life and continue their love and support for their mother and extended family.
Jim is survived by his wife Georgie; son James; daughter Madison (Kennedy); sister Ronda Mitchell (Don); brother Craig; and mother-in-law Helen Smilanich. He will be missed by his sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews and friends too numerous to count. He is preceded in death by his father James and mother Shirley.
Funeral services will be August 27 at Calvary Chapel Church, 460 Century Drive in Murray. A viewing will be held from 10:30-11:30 a.m. with services beginning immediately after at 11:30 until 12:30. Interment will follow at 1:00 at Mount Olivet Cemetery, 1342 E. 500 S. Pallbearers will be: Don Mitchell, Matt Mitchell, Randy Rankin, Craig Collvins, Madison Collvins, James Collvins and Zdenek Sorf.
Family and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Life, which will be held the next day, August 28, from 3:00-6:00. This would have been Jim’s 64th birthday. It will be at Georgie and Jim’s home, 7486 S. Cornia Drive in South Weber.
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