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Larkin Mortuary

Elizabeth Ann Hedquist

05/08/1945 - 07/21/2019

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Elizabeth Ann Gammell Hedquist passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Sunday, July 21, 2019, in Layton, Utah, due to complications from Alzheimer’s dementia.

She was born in Reading, Berkshire, England on May 8, 1945, on VE Day which marked the end of World War II in Europe. She was the first of six children born to her American father, Raymond William Gammell, and her British mother, Evelyn Alice Josey Gammell. She came to the United States with her mother aboard the bride ship Henry Gibbins when she was one year old to join her father who had recently returned as an American soldier from England.

She attended Salt Lake City public schools and graduated in the first class of Skyline High School in 1963, where she served as the president of the Girl’s Association. She attended Brigham Young University and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Liz also attended Eastern Michigan University where she received both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master of Arts degree in Vocal Performance. She taught music theory and voice instruction at Eastern Michigan University. She taught numerous vocal students in her home in Salt Lake City and in Detroit public high schools. She was trained for many years in Salt Lake by Betty Jeanne Chipman and at Eastern Michigan University by Glenda Kirkland.

Elizabeth was an accomplished vocal performer with a gifted lyric soprano voice. She was in the first ensemble group of singers to perform at Valley Music Hall in Bountiful, Utah. She performed leading roles in several BYU Opera Workshop Productions. For several years she performed the leading female role as “Celia” in the Crawford Gates and Arnold Sundgaard production of Promised Valley. She sang in many church gatherings throughout the years. She was the music director in several LDS wards and stakes in Utah and in Michigan. She was choir director for the Memorial Christian Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Elizabeth was acknowledged and admired for her musical gift. She lifted hearts and influenced many. She had a wide repertoire of music and sang in several languages. The beauty and clarity of her voice thrilled and inspired those who heard her.

Elizabeth was sealed to her husband, Steven A. Hedquist, in the Salt Lake Temple on September 1, 1966. In 1987, they moved from Salt Lake City to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where they lived for 32 years before recently returning to Utah. In September 2016, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They were blessed with four sons Christopher (Jill), Paul (Keri), Shaun (Lori), and Matthew (Mary), along with 17 grandchildren, and 1 great-granddaughter. She is survived by her husband Steven and her siblings Phillip, Paul, Mary, Ann, and Mark.

Elizabeth loved her eternal family above all else. She adored and loved her husband Steve, her sons, and grandchildren. She planned and looked forward to annual summer family reunions at Snowbird, Utah, and Bear Lake, Utah. Those memories are indelibly etched in our souls. She recognized and taught her children that the treasures of heaven are found in the family.

Elizabeth was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served in numerous callings throughout her life. Elizabeth was a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ and accepted every opportunity to serve Him. She had a solid understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ and never wavered in her testimony of Him. Elizabeth served as Temple Matron of the Detroit Michigan LDS Temple from 2013 to 2016. She was loved and cherished by ordinance workers and patrons alike. She possessed a passion for family history research and performed vicarious temple ordinances for hundreds of ancestors and others. She authored a definitive book (“Escape from Van Diemen’s Land: The James Gammell Chronicles”) narrating the life and adventures of her great-grandfather James Gammell.

Mom, your family and friends will miss your heavenly voice, your sweet love, your radiant smile, your angelic countenance, and your stabilizing presence in our lives. We love you forever and will spend all eternity in humble gratitude for your motherly love and guidance.

The family thanks the staff at Fairfield Village of Layton and Inspiration Hospice for their care and compassion for Elizabeth and her family.

A viewing will be held for Elizabeth on Sunday, July 28, 2019, from 6-8pm, at Larkin Mortuary (260 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah). Funeral services will be held in her honor on Monday, July 29, 2019, at 11am, at the Country Creek Ward in Layton, Utah (625 South 750 East, Layton, Utah). Funeral services will be preceded by a viewing from 9:30-10:30am. Interment to follow at Larkin Sunset Gardens (1950 East Dimple Dell Road, Sandy, Utah).

Recent Condolences

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  • We send our heartfelt wishes for strength for your family at this time, and in the future. When our son passed last year it was such a comfort to know about families being together after death. I know you will find solace in each other and in the blessings of the gospel . Elizabeth was multi-talented and showed such compassion and love for others. The Lord has a new beautiful angel with a voice that warms all those who hear it. David and Mary Welliver

    — Welliver Family
  • Steve and family,

    My heart breaks for you. Liz touched so many lives with her smile, laughter, voice and service. I enjoyed just being in her presence when we were in the Ann Arbor Ward. A special memory is when our ward choir performed at the church she was choir director for in Ann Arbor. I loved being part of it. She is a role model for serving, being a helpmeet, motherhood, and a graceful lady.

    I am so grateful for the gospel and the doctrine of eternal families!

    Much love and prayers,
    Diane Irwin

    — Irwin Diane
  • My sincere condolences to Steve and Elizabeth’s family. Her obituary lovingly gave note to her well lived life. Her passing will certainly leave a rent in the fabric of her loved one’s lives. I can truly say that anyone who was part of Elizabeth’s life, in any way, was left a better person for having known her. Heaven is now a bit sweeter with her having come home! She will be lovingly missed by all. Now find peace and rest my dear old friend…

    — Lamont E. Heaps

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