[Photo courtesy of Spanish Valley Mortuary]

James Laverne Gregoire, a 70-year-old resident of Moab, Utah, passed away on September 13, 2017. In one final act of heroism, he gave his own life to secure the safety of a young family member.

Jim was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1947 to Margret Spevak and James Gregoire. His humble beginnings and loving mother laid the foundation to face life challenges with strength and hold tight to those he loved.

Jim served in the U.S. Army as a combat veteran in the Vietnam War (48th Infantry Platoon) from 1966 to 1968, walking point with his scout dog, a German Shepherd named Tina. After returning, he learned to manage the impacts of the war through exercise, which became central to his character. Jim had a lifelong passion for exercise science and was a “hardcore” athlete. He became an accomplished speed skater, competing in the Olympic Trials in 1972. Jim earned a Master’s degree in Exercise Science from the University of Wyoming. He was a natural educator and wholehearted personal trainer, always inspiring others with his passion for fitness. Throughout his career, he managed several ice rinks, taught at Northwest Community College, and owned Trapper Fitness Center. Jim wrote extensively on the subject, authoring several books and had an article published in Runner’s World magazine.

Jim loved music, writing and playing many songs on his guitar.

He was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his wife and soulmate, Barb Gregoire; his stepdaughters Robyn and Lindsey Paulekas; and his grandchildren, Oliver and Wesley. He will be remembered for his dedication to family and determination to thrive despite difficult circumstances. Jim, you are the best we ever had.

Friends and family are invited to a celebration of his life on Sunday, September 24, at 12:30 p.m. at Moonflower Canyon in Moab.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.SpanishValleyMortuary.com.