James Warren Williams, age 92, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, and friend died peacefully at home after a debilitating fall that caused numerous injuries. Jim was a true fighter to the very end, never wanting to give up. He inspired all with his tenacity, humor and endless stories.
Jim was born on October 1st, 1927 in Long Beach, CA to Jonas Wesley Williams and Marian D. Davidson. He attended Ensign Grade School, Bryant Junior High, and East High School. Dad had a beautiful voice and enjoyed singing in several quartets.
In 1950, Jim met Carol Lund on a blind date at an Alpha Fi Sorority party and eight months later married her in the Salt Lake Temple. Together they raised five beautiful children; Karen, Jimmy (deceased 1997), David, Jane and Marianne. Jim and Carol traveled the world and especially enjoyed taking their children and grandchildren on cruises. Together they built and maintained a beautiful cabin in Brighton, Utah and enjoyed many summers there with family and friends. Dad was often seen driving his 1912 Model T with his grandchildren in the Brighton 4th of July parade.
In 1948, Jim enlisted and served as a medic with the 17th Infantry Reg. Hosp. in Taejon and Chong Ju Korea. Upon completion of his service, he entered the automobile business in 1950 working for Arch Browning Buick as a salesman. He worked there for 7 years before leaving to start his own business. In 1957, Jim and business partner Gordon Schettler started Schettler-Williams, Inc. selling Jaguar and Volvo. As years went on, they acquired new franchise lines including British Leyland Rover, Triumph, Spitfire, MG and Midget. In 1967, Datsun/Nissan was added to the lineup and in 1980 a second dealership was opened named British Auto Imports, also in downtown Salt Lake City.
During his years of business, Jim stayed active on the advisory boards of these auto franchises. In 1979, Jim became President of the Utah Auto Dealers Association and later appointed President of the Utah Import Dealers Association. He became Director of The American International Automobile Dealers Association and was Chairman of the Board of The Utah Automobile Dealers Insurance Trust. He was on the Datsun National Dealer Advisory Board and later became Chairman. Jim was awarded the Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award representing Utah and in 1994, initiated into the Utah Hall of Fame.
After he retired, Jim built a carriage house behind his home and furnished it with beautifully restored imported and Classic cars. He took great pride in restoring and showing these cars. Several of these earned First Place in the Concours D’Elegance showcases. Jim and Carol were married for 61 years until Carol succumbed to Cancer in 2013.
For 12 years Jim has been honored and proud to be a QB; a member of ye Anciente and Secret Order of Quiet Birdmen; an exclusive club for male aviators in the Salt Lake City, UT hangar. He was an avid pilot with many hours in the air. His daughter Karen, fondly remembers flying with her dad to Las Vegas to see Elvis Presley perform at the International Hotel.
After Carol’s death in 2013, Jim spent time with East high school friend Shirley Ririe. Together they have kept each other company and spent many happy hours holding hands and reminiscing.
Through his perseverance and passion, Jim excelled and was highly respected in the automotive industry. He would counsel us “figure out what you enjoy doing most in life and then try to do it full-time.”
Jim is preceded by his wife, Carol Williams, James W Williams Jr, (Jimmy), and his sister Jackie Stone. Jim is survived by Karen Williams (Alexandra, Nick and Kirsten Chaus, and Michael and Stephanie Chaus), David and Sheri Williams (Jacob, Nathan and Jen), Jane and John Creer (Lauren and Stuart Rigby, Olivia and Jj Ward, and Caroline), Marianne Williams, and great grandchildren Madeline, Ford, Delilah and Harvey Rigby, Millie Ward, and Wade Chaus.
A small graveside service for immediate family and close friends will be held on Monday, July 13, 2020 at 2:30pm at Larkin Sunset Lawn located at 2350 East 1300 South, SLC. A viewing will be held from 12:00 to 2:00pm prior to the graveside service. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, only 20 people will be allowed in the building at a time.