1954 ~ 2020
Garff Barton 'Bart' Collard, 66, of Salt Lake City, passed away on November 17, 2020, after a courageous battle with COVID-19.
Bart was born on July 13, 1954, to LeRoy and Kathryn Collard in Salt Lake City, Utah. After graduating from Cottonwood High School, he went on to study Organizational Communications at the University of Utah where he was actively involved in the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, making many lifelong friends.
After graduation, he landed his first job in sales for Mack Trucks kicking off a 40+ year career in truck sales. He spent the last 20 years with Freightliner of Utah, now Premier Truck Group.
In 1978, he met Debora (Fifer) Collard and they wed in 1980, going on to have 2 sons, Christopher and Brian. Christopher married Toni (Palin) Collard in 2012 and welcomed daughter Haley in 2014. Brian married Caitlin (Walsh) Collard in 2014 and welcomed daughter Avery in 2015. Although Bart and Debbie divorced in 1991, they shared a mutual admiration and love for their children and grandchildren.
Bart spent the last 18 years in a loving relationship with his life partner, Lucy Gibson, with whom he shared many adventures. Bart and Lucy split time between houses in Salt Lake City and Saint George, Utah. They loved riding on his Harley and trips, with their dog Lucky, in the Corvette with the top down. They liked to golf. They spent long weekends in the garden making sure things were perfectly neat without a weed to be found. Bart was actively involved in the lives of Lucy's children and grandchildren, having opened their home to Destiny, Cerenity, and Drew for extended stays. He found great pride in watching them grow into adults and start lives of their own.
Bart found pleasure in hard work, keeping the yard in tip-top shape, and driving an impeccably clean car. He loved to BBQ and entertained often. He liked to finish each day with a big glass of milk. Always in search of adventure, Bart even spent time piloting a powered parachute (a hobby his family was happy to see fade away). Bart had a love of poetry and the ability to memorize and dramatically recite poems to friends and family. Some of his favorites were: "The Touch of the Master's Hand" by Myra 'Brooks' Welch; "The Guy in the Glass" by Dale Winbrow, and "Desiderata" by Max Ehrmann. Each of these pieces reflects Bart's striving to become a better person, one who was true to himself and whose deeds earned the love and respect of others.
Bart most enjoyed time spent with friends and family - he was happiest when those around him were happy. He loved Lucy and her family. He loved his brother and sisters, nephew, and nieces. He loved his children and he simply adored his granddaughters. Near the end, he spent time looking at their pictures "trying to imagine how they're going to look when they're older."
Bart was preceded in death by his father LeRoy Collard, his mother Kathryn Collard, and his dear, four-legged companion Rudy. He is survived by his partner Lucy Gibson, his sons Christopher (Toni) and Brian (Caitlin), granddaughters Haley and Avery, brother Brad (Dru), sisters Kathy (Michael), Ricki (Chuck), Jan, and Kelly (Kirk), nieces and nephews Kimberlee, Candice (Jay), Jillian, Phillip (Jessica), Taylor (Tim), and Lauren (Brian), Lucy's children Yvonne (Kermit), Becky (Pat), Michelle (Danny), Mitzi, Michael, Lucy's 10 grandchildren, his playful dog Lucky, as well as countless friends, neighbors, and colleagues.
A celebration of life will be held sometime in 2021 when safe to do so. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his name to the Hydrocephalus Association, a cause close to Bart's heart. Thank you to the medical staff of the University of Utah for all their efforts to help Bart and many others during this difficult time.
A note regarding COVID-19: Bart took COVID-19 very seriously since the early days. He wore a mask (and often gloves) and practiced social distancing. He was a very healthy man without underlying medical conditions. He did not drink or smoke. He left us 24 days after his first symptoms. This virus is very serious and potentially devastating. Please take steps to protect yourselves, your loved ones, and those you encounter throughout the day.
Published by The Salt Lake Tribune from Nov. 28 to Nov. 29, 2020.