John H. Firmage, Jr.

February 4, 1933 - January 10, 2022
John H. Firmage, Jr.

Entrepreneur, Visionary Business Leader, Devoted Family-Man

Beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, friend, and visionary business leader passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, January 10, 2022, at the age of 88.

Born in Logan, Utah, to Hal and Roberta Firmage, John was the eldest of three sons (Dan, Jim, both of whom are deceased). John attended East High School where he was a scholar and athlete. John’s focus and athleticism earned him letters in football, basketball, track and skiing, where his versatility garnered the East High School, “Outstanding Athlete” award. John played football with some of his life- long friends and what he lacked in size, he made up for with

true grit and determination.
John graduated high school early to attend The University

of Utah where he joined the fraternal organization Beta Theta Pi. Serving as president, John believed in the mission of brotherhood, leadership, and the opportunity to develop “Men of Principle for a Principled Life.” John graduated with honors from the University of Utah, School of Business, with a degree in Business Management. Upon graduation, John served in the United States Air Force, a 22-year-old lieutenant, as an executive officer of research and development at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), specializing in the SAGE program, a dynamic early warning, enemy bomber system.

While at the “U”, John met his life-long partner and sweetheart, Joan Bennett. Their courtship was exciting and committed. They danced away their early college days at the Rainbow Rendezvous, creating the start of a beautiful sixty- seven (67) year adventure. John and Joan began their life as military newlyweds, living in Boston, Massachusetts then moving themselves back to Salt Lake City in 1957.

With a strong foundation rooted in Utah business, a 27-year- old entrepreneur, John believed in the balance of the financial system and founded his own equipment leasing company. The concept of leasing was new and his early vision statement, “Profits are made through the use, not ownership of assets” directed his endeavors. John founded FMA Leasing which later grew to FMA Thrift and Loan, serving all of Utah. In response to the need for medical equipment financing, Medirec, was founded. Expanded business ventures under the Firmage Financial Group of Companies accredited to John’s enthusiastic, visionary business acumen include: BMW of Murray, BMW of Pleasant Grove, MINI of Murray, Culligan Water Conditioning, and Firmco Financial.

Believing in civic responsibility, the opportunity to make a difference, and the need to give back, John balanced his proud Utah heritage with non-profit board service including: The Episcopal Diocese of Utah, Treasurer; Saint Mark’s Hospital; Holy Cross Hospital Foundation; University of Utah, National Advisory Council; University of Utah, Health Sciences Council; University of Utah, Museum of Fine Arts, Emeritus Member; Ballet West; Utah Museum of Natural History; Salt Lake Art Center; Salt Lake Rotary Club; and the Salt Lake Police/Sheriff Honorary Colonels.

A retelling of John’s life is not complete without mention of his involvement with The Country Club, Board Member, Salt Lake City; Morningside Country Club, Past President, Rancho Mirage, CA; The Alta Club, Salt Lake City; The Springs Country Club, Rancho Mirage, CA. With these associations, many rounds of golf were played with dear friends, laughter enjoyed, memories made, and many stories told, a few, not to be retold.

Some of John’s happiest times were spent outside enjoying Utah blue-bird days - either on the river, fly fishing; on the ski hill, gracefully tackling the slopes, on the tennis court strategizing the perfect shot, or on the golf course, playing with eternal optimism that one day, he would master the silly game. From playing weekly tennis and golf with friends, enjoying a casual round of golf with his dear wife, who often beat her sweet husband, to a 60-year monthly dinner group tradition, John lived a robust life filled with vigor, fortitude, passion, and integrity.

With all of the aforementioned accomplishments and outstanding achievements, the highlight of John’s life was his FAMILY, whom he built his world for and around. Family was everything- his due North, his purpose, his reason for being, his pride, and his passion. John is survived by his wife, Joan B. Firmage; daughter, Vicki F. Bennion (Bill); son, John H. Firmage, III (Carol); six grandchildren; two great grandchildren; brother-in-law, Bill Bennett (Mary); and many caring nieces and nephews. The legacy of hard work and determination have been lovingly passed on to the next generation.

As paraphrased from a past interview, when asked, “What would be your advice or what attributes would you pass along?”, John replied, “I think that determination has probably been the key word that I would use both on a business level and a personal level. Set out goals and be determined to make them happen.”

The family wishes to thank Carol Osborne, MD and care- givers Vicky, Meleane, Aki, Alissa and Mark.

A private service for family and close friends will be held at Saint Mark’s Cathedral, Friday, January 14, 2022 at 2:00 PM. He will be laid to rest at Mount Olivet Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a donation may contact the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) ( 410 Campus Center Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84112), University of Utah Orthopaedic Center, (590 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108), John A. Moran Eye Center, (65 Mario Capecchi Dr., Salt Lake City, UT 84132) or a charity of choice.