Family owned & family focused since 1952

James LaVar Bills


James LaVar Bills died January 8, 2020, in Phoenix, Arizona. Jim was born August 4, 1935, in Murray, Utah, to Leo DeMont and Elizabeth Steadman Bills. Jim served in the California Mission from 1955-1957, and was sealed to his eternal companion, Marjorie Ann Anderson, on March 25, 1958, in the Salt Lake City Temple. Jim graduated with High Honors from the University of Utah and received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to pursue graduate studies. After receiving his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry at M.I.T. in 1963, Jim began his lifelong career as a Chemistry Professor at Brigham Young University.

Jim and Marjorie were the parents of three children: Jana Hickman, Brian Bills and Crystal Malmstrom. In addition to his children, Jim is survived by his sister, Ramona Wente, and by his nine grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Jim will be remembered for his quiet, faithful service as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and as an avid BYU Cougar football and basketball fan. His grandchildren will remember car rides and picnics in Provo Canyon, bowling trips to BYU, and walks along the Provo River for rides in the big swing. Most of all, he will be remembered for his devotion to Marjorie, and the loving care he provided in her final years.

Funeral services will be held at 11 am on Saturday, January 18, 2020, at Nelson Family Mortuary, 4780 N. University Avenue, Provo, UT.  A visitation will be held from 10:00-10:45 am prior to the services. Interment will be in the Provo City Cemetery.


  • Camille Crezee Posted January 14, 2020 11:46 AM

    Wonderful man! You were lucky to be his daughter. You look like your mom. Funny thing, my mom’s name is Marjorie Faye Anderson. We have one more thing in common.
    Kelvin and I will be in Provo with you this Saturday. We send our love and prayers.

  • Rick and Jenna Cobb Posted January 14, 2020 4:57 PM

    What a loving tribute to your father. And you do look like your lovely mother! We love you and yours…

  • Dawn M. Grant-Blocker Posted January 15, 2020 10:36 AM

    Jana, thank you for sharing. What a remarkable man. It was a pleasure to be able to care for your dad while living at our community. He was so sweet and kind. We will miss your visits as well.

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