October 13, 1940 – October 10, 2020
In Loving Memory
James Russell Wagstaff passed away October 10, 2020 - three days shy of his 80th birthday. The last four years of his life were a trial, slowly robbing him of physical and mental abilities.
Jim was the first child of Milton Brinton Wagstaff and Beth Jennings Wagstaff, and was raised on Garfield Avenue. We were told that he once won a "cutest child" contest, and we have the pictures to prove it. When Jim got his drivers' license, he became an active partner in his Dad's general automotive repair shop. On weekends, he and his father would take the train to California, and return, each driving a car (nearly new Cadillacs) to sell. In 1955 they took on their first new car franchise - Mercedes Benz, and shortly after that, they added the DKW line. That line was purchased by Volkswagen and then discontinued. It was then that the family began their relationship with Toyota, becoming the first Toyota Dealers in Salt Lake City. Long-time residents may remember one of their most successful promotions - to receive a pair of Tony Lama boots with purchase of a new car and the promotion of "get your hands on a Toyota" to see how long contestants could keep their hands on a car (which resulted in a happy marriage for Jim's sister Patsy).
Jim served a mission in Germany which began a life-long love affair with Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He made many friends in those countries - several of whom remain family friends to this day. He loved taking family, friends and youth groups to Europe, showing them the beautiful country sides and sharing the rich history. He loved driving the Autobahn where there was no speed limit. Lincoln Travel Center began as an extension of his love for travel. Jim was generous with his time and belongings - if someone wanted to see Germany on their own, he would offer his condo in Burghausen and provide step-by-step itineraries, complete with instructions for exactly where to take a bathroom break and how many kilometers from your last sightseeing stop to pull over for a snack. Andrea learned from personal experience that if you got lost, you could call him for instructions. Based on your current location he could tell you exactly which turn you missed and how to get back on track.
Jim is survived by his wife Linda, and children Sydney Wagstaff-Romero (Eric), Stacey Pinnock (Roger), Kenneth (Lisa), Andrea Binns (Kyle), Russell (Lisa) and Richard. Grandchildren are Samantha, Christian, Lucy and Ellie Pinnock, Gabby, Sophie, and Roman Binns, Emily Smith and Maxwell Romero, Sage Donaldson and Mathias Daniels.
Services will be held Friday, October 16th at Wasatch Lawn Mortuary - 3401 Highland Drive. Viewing from 10:00 to 11:00 followed by a grave side service. Following Covid-19 guidelines, please plan to wear a mask at all times and practice social distancing. Feel free to bring a chair for the grave site.
- Linda Wagstaff, Wife
- Sydney Wagstaff-Romero (Eric), Daughter
- Stacy Pinnock (Roger), Daugher
- Kenneth Wagstaff (Lisa), Son
- Andrea Binns (Kyle), Daughter
- Russell Wagstaff(Lisa), Son
- Richard Wagstaff, Son
- James is also survived by his grandchildren and many other relatives and friends who will cherish his memory.
Learn more about the Wagstaff name
- Ken Wagstaff, Pallbearer
- Russ Wagstaff, Pallbearer
- Richard Wagstaff, Pallbearer
- Christian Pinnock, Pallbearer
- Eric Romero, Pallbearer
- Roger Pinnock, Pallbearer
- Kyle Binns, Pallbearer
- Roman Binns, Pallbearer
- Michael Lanzensberger, Honorary Pallbearer
- Mathias Daniels, Honorary Pallbearer
- Max Romero, Honorary Pallbearer
Friday, October 16, 2020
October 16, 2020
I’ve known Jim and Linda for 40 years. We have sons the same age. (Jamie Okland and Rich Wagstaff). Jim was their scout leader. They both earned their Eagle ranking at age 14, thanks to Jim and the great leadership in the ward. When they were about 17, they went snow boarding at Snowbird. It was a very wintry day and the canyon was closed that afternoon to all traffic. I called Jim to tell him the boys had been snowed in and wouldn’t be home until tomorrow. He said, “they’re both Eagle scouts. They know how to start a fire. They can sleep in the car. They will get hungry but they’ll be just fine.” I had to confess they had gone to The Cliff Lodge, checked into a room and were headed to The Steak Pit for dinner. I just hope he didn’t think all of that scout training was wasted.
October 16, 2020
I moved from San Diego to Salt Lake City in 1983 and Jim was one of the first friends I made. He was running his family's Toyota dealership called Wagstaff Toyota and I was the General Sales Manager for KCPX/KBUG radio. We became instant friends.
I remember he and his family inviting me to travel with them on a KSL reward trip to Monte Carlo. I asked his mom for the first dance at a party hosted at the Monte Carlo Beach Club over looking the Medatreanan sea. Jim and I decided after that media reward trip that we would plan the finest media trip that following spring...and we did! It was called "The KCPX/KBUG European Road Rally".
With the help of Lincoln Travel, Jim's travel agency, we planned a 10-day media trip that I think to this day is unsurpassed. When our clients arrived in Germany (I think we took about 300), each was provided a luxury car (either a Mercedes or BMW) at the airport and given a map that described the locations they would be driving to each day of the trip and all the things they could see and do. We wound our way through the most beautiful parts of Germany (Black Forrest), Austria, and Switzerland, staying in the most beautiful hotels Europe had to offer. On the last evening together, we gave away a new Mercedes to one of the clients at a beautiful dinner.
This trip was talked about for years after by the media and it couldn’t have happened without the help and planning of Jim who not only loved that part of the world but knew it so well. He loved to travel.
There are many other memories I have of Jim and his family and the times we spend with his mom and dad who lived in a beautiful apartment in the top of the dealership.
I will always remember he and his family as some of the kindest and most generous people I have ever had the privilege of knowing!
It's been many years since I last saw Jim, but I will always remember him by the picture that was posted in this obituary!
Rest on peace Jim - you will be missed.