James (Jim) Spencer Bean

1937 ~ 2022

Graveside Services

Salt Lake City Cemetery, 4th Avenue "N" Street, Salt Lake City, Utah
Jul 15, 2022 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

James (Jim) Spencer Bean peacefully passed away on July 7, 2022, just after his four children spoke to him and comforted his spirit. He was being cared for at the George E. Whalen Veterans Home in Ogden. Many thanks to the staff for the care he received while at the Veterans Home.

Jim was born on May 22, 1937, to James William Bean and Naoma Spencer, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He spent his youth in the Avenues of Salt Lake, and a few years in Chicago when his Dad worked there. After Naoma died in 1948, he spent a few years being raised by his Grandma Bean on 4th Avenue in Salt Lake. He was blessed with a second mother in Harriet Gowans and the family reunited on 2nd Avenue in the home where succeeding generations gathered and were nurtured.

It was also in the Avenues that Jim met JoAnn Graham, and they were married in February of 1955. They raised four children that went on to have very successful careers and lives. After the children were raised Jim and JoAnn parted ways.

Shortly after the birth of his first child, Jim decided on a career in the United States Navy as an Electrician’s Mate specializing in Link Trainers. He helped design and build the first 21B12 submarine simulator. After training in programs across some states, he spent the most time in Key West, Florida. During the Cuban Missile Crises in October of 1962, Jim spent some stressful days very close to the potential conflict. After 11 years of service, Jim received a medical retirement from the Navy, but was always proud of the time he served.

After the Navy, Jim and JoAnn started college which eventual ended with careers in education. The bulk of the college education was at Fresno State College. Jim specialized in Industrial Arts Education and later completed a Master’s Degree in the same field, with a minor in Psychology that he was very proud of. He taught at the high school level in Livermore, California, and the college level in Ridgecrest, California.

Upon leaving California, they moved the family to Fredonia, Arizona. Jim’s entrepreneurial spirit reignited and he started a string of businesses from there to several places in Utah. The types of businesses were across the spectrum, such as; car garage, auto parts store, towing service, fast food drive-in, pawn shop, coin store, locksmith, phone installation, housing and commercial rentals, and real estate.

During the last 30 years of those businesses, Jim partnered with Helen Alves to successfully run those endeavors. Most of that time was spent along the Wasatch Front of Utah. His last home residence was in Eden, Utah. Eventually they decided to get married, but time ran out on them before completing that process.

Jim was always an adventurous soul and brought his family along for the ride, wherever he decided to move or any new venture to pursue. That led to many varied experiences, such as; hunting for pirate treasure, restoring an old mansion, deep sea fishing, water well drilling, training horses and ponies, raising and eating farm animals, sand dune jumping, and of course the aforementioned businesses. He was very proud of the monikers, “Wheeler Dealer” and “Jack of all Trades”.

Jim is survived by his fiancé Helen Alves and his children: James S. Bean Jr. (Karen), Ken Bean (Sam), Jeff Bean (Allison), and Kate Bean. He has 14 grandchildren, and 26 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings: Janis Glade, Joanne Shelton, Jennean Dale, Betty Moriarty, and Barbara Crooks (David).


Dear Helen and Bean family,
So sorry for your loss. You have all had a long and difficult time with Jim’s health struggles. I will remember your grief in my prayers and ask that your burdens be made light enough to bear.
I’m here for you when you need a friend.
With deep sympathy,
Kim Crittenden

- Kim Crittenden