Jim was born in Richfield, Utah to James Milton Chavis and Idonna Gauchet Chavis. He attended high school in Pleasant Grove, Utah. He is survived by his six children: James Marlan Chavis, Crystel Chavis Montecinos, Amber Maria Shelley, Erin Dawn Garrett, Sundee Sunshine Meyer and Sterling Sisto Chavis. He was preceded in death by daughter Anna Chavis and his two sisters; Gayle Jensen and Kathy Olsen. There are 27 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.
Jim proudly served in the US Marine Corp and received an honorable discharge in 1957. In 1958 he married the love of his life, Ms. Nancy Larsen, and together they set off on 64 years of adventures.
Jim and Nancy created countless accomplishments and memories.
As you well know, Jim could fix or build just about anything. He was a talented wood worker, mechanic, truck driver, welder, farmer, well driller, millwright, cook, fisherman, teacher and Father.
Perhaps the biggest challenge these two faced was in old-fashioned homesteading. At only 27 years old and with four small children in tow, they took on the rare challenge of homesteading 960 acres of the Nevada desert in Lincoln County.
From the valley floor up Jim became a Master of every Trade. For the household it started with the domestic water and septic systems, landscaping for the kids, and barnyards for the animals. For the farm it started with assisting in surveying the land and clearing the brush. He was responsible for completion of every minute step in the complicated and difficult tasks of well drilling and construction. He welded every joint of the casings in those three deep wells.
Coinciding tasks included road grading, and fence building. That required harvesting all the cedar posts necessary for the many miles and miles of fencing in addition to all of the digging, pounding of stakes and stringing of barbed wire.
Jim fashioned wooden check boxes for each of the irrigation ponds. From these water flowed into the miles and miles of concrete and earthen ditches that would irrigate the fields.
Once the land was cleared it had to be planed, disced, and furrowed in 40 acre parcels. After the ground was ready it had to be planted and finally putting the alfalfa seed in the ground was wonderful; like putting the frosting on a cake.
Life on the farm was as wonderful as it was difficult. Jim and Nancy had invaluable friendships in Bob and Hilda Stewart, and Chuck and Patti Woodworth of Lake Valley. Receiving advice and assistance are lifesavers for country people.
During their farm years Lake Valley was transformed from sagebrush into a modern thriving agricultural district.
Jim and Nancy’s children are beyond thankful for being given such a wonderful childhood. They filled it with boundless acres of love, strong values, hard work, countless animal friends and motorcycle riding for roaming and exploring the beautiful valleys and mountains of Nevada.
Soon after leaving the farm Jim began a new career with the Nevada Division of Forestry in Elko, Nevada and that’s where he really found his calling. He thoroughly enjoyed his work there – first as a Crew Leader for fire fighting and then as a Camp Supervisor. Working just 40 hours a week he liked to joke that he was“semi-retired.” He made many wonderful friends at NDF.
Jim was an incredible craftsman with wood. He made beautiful furniture, libraries of solid oak shelving and acres and acres of decking everywhere they lived.
He loved fishing, hunting, and RV traveling with friends. During their RV traveling years their friends joked that he could skillfully park a motorhome in a glove compartment.
Jim and Nancy retired in St George, Utah. In lieu of flowers please donate to the Autism Research Institute at www.autism.org