OGDEN, Utah – Flying J has announced that Jeffrey Keith Utley, senior vice president of its refining operations and Big West Oil, LLC, died Aug. 5 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident on U.S. Highway 31 about seven miles southwest of Victor, Idaho. He was 48 years old.
Utley was traveling on the mountain road with a group of colleagues enroute to Teton Village, Wyo. when a mule deer “came out of nowhere” about 5:30 p.m. and collided with his vehicle. His wife, Kathleen, was a passenger on the bike and received minor injuries. She was treated and released from the Eastern Region Medical Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho about 3 a.m. Saturday morning.
Utley is survived by his wife and their three children, Eric, 27; Jesse, 24; and Stefanie, 15.
One of the most respected men in the petroleum and refining business, Utley was the key figure in Flying J’s overall refining business and instrumental in its recent acquisition of Shell Oil Company’s refinery in Bakersfield, Calif. Utley’s 19-year career with Flying J began with the 1986 acquisition of the U.S. downstream assets of Husky Canada which included a refinery in North Salt Lake City, Utah, where Utley worked as chief process engineer. He was promoted to refinery manager in 1987.
“Jeff exemplified everything we wanted Flying J to stand for: highest qualities of integrity, work ethic and unselfishness,” said Flying J president, J. Phillip Adams. “He was admired by all for his total consideration, respect and appreciation for others both inside and outside of the company. Individuals and talents like Jeff Utley come along once in a lifetime … and we will never be able to replace Jeff and all his unique qualities.”
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