James Taylor “Jim” or “Jimmy” McMullin passed away suddenly of an arrhythmia heart attack on April 8, 2020, in his chair at home in Santa Barbara, California. He was 77.
Jim was a local boy, born in Utah on November 26, 1942, but came to Santa Barbara when he was 4 years old. He was the son of Carma Taylor and Floyd H. McMullin, a civil engineer who helped design Bradbury Dam at Lake Cachuma.
Jim was a Wilson Wildcat and one of “Van’s boys.” He also attended Harding, La Cumbre Junior High and Santa Barbara High schools, where he formed many friendships that are still close to this day. After retiring, he enjoyed staying in touch with SBHS Class of ’60 and other friends, spending many Tuesday mornings at the Breakwater Café sharing their stories.
In 1972, Jim married the love of his life, Barbara. They made a great team, even though he worked and played with an intensity that was sometimes hard to keep up with. Jim’s spirit really soared in the mountains, and he was a true outdoorsman who loved hunting and stream fishing. He was an avid mountain biker, loved the desert, off-roading with cars, motorcycles, and ocean fishing on his boat exploring the California coast and the Channel Islands.
Jim became a licensed general contractor in 1976, forming McMullin Construction, a successful independent general construction firm. He was a talented builder who gave extraordinary service to his clients, many of whom became life-long friends. He was very organized, a leader in all he accomplished. He built custom homes, completed residential and commercial/industrial remodels, and developed small condominium projects.
It didn’t matter to Jim if you were a laborer, supplier, subcontractor, architect or owner, he treated everyone equally. Jim gave and received the deep respect of those he worked with, especially Luis Valerio, his loyal foreman who became a close friend.
Jim was always there to offer help or give valuable advice to someone if they needed it, and he was greatly appreciated by those who received his generous assistance. Jim lived life on his own terms: he did not deviate from his strong belief in being honest, straightforward and telling it “like it is,” and his handshake was his bond.
In his later years, Jim solidified his faith by returning to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, his family religion. He became very involved in Family Search, tracing the lineage for many families, including his own. Through his “indexing” efforts, with which the church is digitalizing old census and birth records, he was able to reunite many people with their ancestors.
Jim was ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood as an elder and was set apart as a family history/temple consultant.
Jim is survived by his loving wife and life partner, Barbara, and his brother, Floyd “Taylor” McMullin. Those also grieving his untimely death are Barbara’s family, his many cousins throughout the country, and friends across the spectrum of life.
Jim’s remains will rest in peace at the Santa Barbara Cemetery. Due to the coronavirus, a memorial service and celebration of life will take place this summer.
Funeral arrangements are by Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels.