Julianna Hayes Hewlett

1941 ~ 2023

Obituary Photo for Julianna Hayes Hewlett < >

I was born January 21, 1941, in Montpelier, Idaho, the only daughter of William Earl and Verona Schmid Hayes. I had three brothers, Deon (who died at eighteen months), William Dorain Hayes, and Elwyn “Chip” Hayes. Only Chip remains behind in our little family with my passing, and how I have adored him and his wife Sandy! If Chip ever missed a day calling me in the last forty years, I do not remember it.

We moved many places in Idaho and Wyoming following my father’s Union Pacific Railroad occupation. At age four, my mother found me “practicing the piano,” using the arm of the sofa as my keyboard, as we had no such instrument. At that point my parents felt I should be taking lessons as soon as there was money to rent a piano. Fortunately, the Bancroft chapel was being remodeled, and Father requested that our home be used as a place to store the ward piano. Thus began my lessons, and a continuing lifetime interest in music.

I graduated with honors from BYU and began teaching music at Hillside Junior High School in Salt Lake City. My first class in public school teaching was a Boys’ Choir of 103 voices from the 7th, 8th and 9th grades. It proved to be a year of MY education learning how to deal with teenaged mentality.

In 1968, while recuperating in Idaho from a spinal fusion I received a call from President Florence Jacobsen to serve on the General Board of the MIA. Traveling and speaking in many regional conferences, writing lessons and manuals for the MIA, and beginning work of the new LDS hymn book, were highlights in that phase of my Church activity. I also conducted a regional young special interest choir in the Tabernacle for a regional conference.

In 1969, I took a Sabbatical Leave and traveled to Germany with the University of Oregon, where I lived with a German family, toured the famous music schools of Europe, and later received a master’s degree in international music and art education.

I transferred to Highland High School in 1975, teaching choirs and beginning a Humanities class, studying the arts, philosophy and history. I began taking summer tours to Europe to study the wealth of art, music and literature in the world’s greatest museums.

I was reluctantly and unexpectedly lined up on a blind date in 1977, with Lester F. Hewlett, Jr. It was an amazing spiritual recognition, and I cancelled my summer tour to Europe to be sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on July 6, 1977. My father said in April of that year I would be married before summer’s end. His prediction came true. It was truly a match made in heaven.

Les had been the mission president in the Australia South Mission and had previously served on the Young Men’s General Board and on the Church Athletic Committee. Having been one of the first missionaries to open Alaska to missionary work, Les thus began a lifelong love of missionary work. After returning from Australia, he continued volunteering on Temple Square as a tour guide, where his love of the gospel and commitment to missionary work focused his continuing service.

We moved to the Graystone Condominiums in 1978, where Les was the teacher of the high priest group, and I taught the Relief Society cultural refinement lessons. How I loved bringing the joy of music, art and literature to the sisters in the Grant 4th Ward (later became the Forestview Ward). Traveling with Elder LeGrand Richards for the dedication of the Orson Hyde Memorial was truly one of the highlights of our six years together. At the insistence of Elder Richards, I led the group in “Master the Tempest is Raging” as we crossed the Sea of Galilee and afterward sat in a testimony meeting on the shore. I realized once again the truthfulness of the gospel, and better understood the love Les and I shared in Church service.

Les and I belonged to the Dinnerset Group, and on December 9, 1983, Les and I were the chairpersons of the annual Christmas party at the Lion House. Associating, as the Hewlett family had done for many years with many of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve, we sat with Elder and Sister Neal A. Maxwell singing Christmas carols. I conducted the music in my new red shoes that Les had just bought me.

The next morning, I awakened to find that Les had slipped to the other side of the veil while he slept. The shock was multiplied by the fact he had not been ill. As Elder Maxwell stated at his funeral, “He was blessed not to have tasted death. He was a guileless man.” He loved and gave many blessings to the widows in our ward whom he served as their home teacher.

The years since his passing have found me continuing to teach at Highland, conducting tours occasionally to Europe with students, serving as gospel doctrine teacher, ward music chairman, ward chorister, and teaching Relief Society cultural refinement lessons.

One of the highlights of my music and Church service was in October 1990, when I was invited to conduct a Young Women’s Choir for the afternoon session of General Conference in the Tabernacle. I led 400 young women from the Bountiful and Val Verde Regions, united in beautiful voice and spirit to praise the Lord. It was more memorable by having chosen the hymn, “We Ever Pray for Thee,” and then finding President Benson had been taken to the hospital that weekend. The choice of that hymn had been made by me in July, well before President Benson became acutely ill.

In 1991, a grandson, Ben Pahnke, died of leukemia. Our family was comforted in knowing Les was there to welcome eight-year-old Ben to his heavenly home. Again, in 1993, our seven-week-old grand-daughter Adrienne Goates, was taken home, and Les was seen at her funeral by members of his extended family. It is an incredible comfort knowing the veil is thin and eternal love is strong.

As the years have brought Les’ four children and their families much closer together, I have enjoyed the plethora of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I have loved and been loved as I never could have imagined in my younger single years. All the children, Nancy Pahnke, Patsy Goates, John Hewlett and Ernie Hewlett, have homes at the Ranch above Woodland, where Les and I spent our summers and where the spirit of FAMILY is so intense and loving.

My calling to the Salt Lake Temple as an ordinance worker has been the highlight of my retirement years.

These last years have been filled with physical challenges, but I have used faith, prayers and priesthood blessings to endure to the end. “When upon life’s billows we are tempest tossed, when we are discouraged thinking, all is lost, count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

That ends Julie’s obituary in her first-person narrative, but as her adopted Hewlett family we would update the record to state she won a place in all our hearts. She might easily be the most fiercely independent, tenacious and strong-willed woman any of us will ever encounter. However, as she lived her life to its conclusion in the early morning hours of June 29, 2023, we are constrained to conclude in her 82 years of living she filled the full measure of her creation, and she finally and gleefully entered the eternal embrace of her beloved Les after a forty-year absence.

Funeral services will be held at 12:00 pm on Monday, July 10, 2023 at the Salt Lake 11th Ward, 951 East 100 South, Salt Lake City, UT. There will be a visitation on Sunday, July 9th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Larkin Mortuary, 260 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT and on Monday from 10:00 to 11:30 am, prior to services at the church. For those unable to attend, services will be streamed via Zoom. Please click on the watch services link above. You must be signed in to your Zoom account to view.


Dear Family of Beloved Julie Hewlett. I am writing to share with you how much she meant to me as a student of Highland High. She is the only teacher that made a difference in my high school education. She taught the hardest class; humanities, along with choir which I took all 4 years. Frankly, I hated high school. I was a mess. Ms. Hewlett held me to a high standard. She believed in me, was strict and inspired me to dig deep, do my best and learn. I still have the humanities book in my bookshelf. I loved her. She taught me what is possible in education and was an inspiration to me in becoming a high school teacher myself. I am heartbroken I will miss her memorial as I will be out of town. Sending you so much love - she was a truly incredible person who changed my life. I am forever grateful.

- Mary Christa Poulter Smith

My heart is broken right now. Mrs Hewlett was one of the most influential people in my adolescent world. Amazing teacher, my cheerleader when I was competing internationally in piano. The consoler for my insecurities of never feeling good enough. It was a few moments of empathy and then the verbal swift kick in the pants I needed to move on and succeed. Thank you, lovely woman

- Michelle Christensen Finocchio

Julie (Mrs Hewlett) was my Humanities teacher at Highland High. My love for art and music was expanded, appreciated and I learned to memorize like I never had before. I still remember many of the artists names and eras, music and composers. It was a class I loved, and worked hard at. We loved how she pushed us to work hard, and expected more of us as students. I learned how to prepare for a test in that class. I believe what i learned from Julie helped me in college as well. She made a huge impact on me. Sending condolences to her family and friends.

- Emily Watson

"Miss Hayes" was one of my teachers growing up. She is one of a few that I wholeheartedly remember. I loved her so very much and to this day have talked about how wonderful she was and how she "saved" my life. You see.... she had me do a special project on drugs and their effects on people. I got an A on the project but gained more than you could imagine. I have stayed away from drugs my entire life because of this one assignmemt from my most favorite teacher. Thank you miss Hayes. May Good bless you and keep you in his arms tonight and every night.
-- Caprice Firth Nutley

- Caprice

"Miss Hayes" was one of my teachers growing up. She is one of a few that I wholeheartedly remember. I loved her so very much and to this day have talked about how wonderful she was and how she "saved" my life. You see.... she had me do a special project on drugs and their effects on people. I got an A on the project but gained more than you could imagine. I have stayed away from drugs my entire life because of this one assignmemt from my most favorite teacher. Thank you miss Hayes. May Good bless you and keep you in his arms tonight and every night.
-- Caprice Firth Nutley

- Caprice

I was saddened this morning to hear of Mrs Hewlett’s passing, but also so happy for her at the thought of the joy she is now experiencing, finally reunited with her beloved husband. I was a student of hers at Highland High from 1982-1986, having been fortunate to have her for choir my Freshman and Sophomore years, and Humanities my Senior year. She truly loved and cared for her students, and had a wonderful gift for teaching. I’ll always be grateful to her for the time she spent with me, and the personal interest she showed in my teenage life, as well as the world that was opened up to me in her humanities course. Thank you Mrs Hewlett <3

- Debbie Heinhold Harward

What a loving and beautiful lady. My love to Kip and Sandy. Sincerely Norine and Tom Wrathall

- Norine Vantassell Wrathall

(Highland Class '92)
Your Love and appreciation for the Arts was infectious. Which you spread to all those lucky enough to be one of your students. Some fun memories from high school were due to the study groups created to prepare for your Humanity's exams. Anytime I think of the world's greatest artists, you won't be far from that thought. God's speed Mrs. Hewlett.

- Charles Alexis

Such an amazing vocal teacher. My vocal teacher at Highland from 1980-1984. Stern but in a loving way. Her eyes were so dark and piercing. A beautiful women who shared her love of music with so many. Such great talent.
Now, reunited with her husband, Les. How beautiful is that reunion.💕
My condolences and prayers to her family.

- Shaunna Wilde Snow

Ms. Hewlett is easily one of the most intelligent individuals I have ever known! I have admired her since I was able to first be in her class. She knew everything! I bet her and Dean had a great surprise to see each other so soon. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to know this amazing woman!

- Katie Eskelson Ieremia

To this day I refer to Mrs. Hewlett’s Humanities class as my favorite class I’ve ever taken. She instilled in me a love for the arts that I didn’t know was there. I loved going to her class, I loved studying for her tests with my friends where we would create our own slide shows, and I love going to museums now and referring back to the things I learned 26 years ago.

Thank you Mrs, Hewlett!

- Jake Olson

Julianna is a beloved teacher who never forgot her roots in southeastern Idaho. In 2018 Kay and I invited Julie to join us at a Andrea Bocelli concert at the Delta Center (Vivint Home arena). Although it snowed heavily that November evening, we were thrilled to share that evening. We laughed about the days we performed under the baton of Wesley Baker in Montpelier High School. She was a great friend who loved
Les, his family, her family, and especially her students. In 2014 I begged her to come to an all Montpelier High reunion and play all of the school songs. She sat down and from memory played all three of them with deserved energy and gusto. A powerful voice for classics and culture, her legacy is with those many students and her impact continues. Ross and Kay Peterson

- Ross Peterson

I so deeply enjoyed Mrs. Hewlett's Humanities class at Highland in 1997. She was a tremendously impactful teacher and truly inspired us with her contagious passion for excellence and the international culture of art history. I have since travelled the world and remembered to seek out the monuments, paintings and statues that she ensured we would memorize for the rest of our lives. I recognize musical pieces and know what opera or composer it was from. Generations of children were given such a gift in her classes. What an honorable and lasting legacy she has left in the hearts and minds of every student she influenced.
With gratitude, Lauren Santora

- Lauren Santora

For 17 plus years my late husband,Richard and I enjoyed our friendship with Julie. Her brightness of sprit , her knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, her whit and generous way of bringing sunshine to us was incredible!! The reunion on the other side must be a happy one!! We miss you so much already,Julie!! Till we meet again!

- Morrena Harris

Mrs. Hewlett opened the Humanities to me in a way no one else ever has, and I am a far better person for it. She was most certainly an incredible woman and lived a full and amazing life. I will be eternally grateful for her time in my life.

- Jeanne Lester

As many have stated, Mrs. Hewlett had a tremendous impact on many students. I am one of them. Her lessons were life-changing. I still listen to The Moldeau and enjoy the movie in my mind's eye of Mrs. Hewlett telling us the story of the boat going down the mighty river. It is still in my top 10 all-time, favorite pieces of music. She brought to life the world of the arts for us. She connected us to it in a way that many teenagers would not otherwise be given the chance. I have had three educators that have remained as the voices in my head and their spirit in my heart. Mrs. Hewlett was one of them. With the passing of both her and Dean Collett, my heart is heavy that the world has lost two of the greatest educators with which we have been blessed. The ripple effects of their influence, however, will live on. Godspeed, Mrs. Hewlett, and thank you for the boat ride.

- Sonya Droguett ('91)

I loved Julie Hewlett. She was my favorite teacher of all time! What a wit and full of dry humor…”Go play in the street children.” Ha ha! She took a personal interest in me when I had to transfer out of her class my sophomore year to take a different class. Later, when I was able to enroll in her classes, she remembered me and would ask about me. She touched my mind, making me think about things. She treated us like capable people instead of inept students, giving us perhaps more credit than we deserved. I loved going to Florida with her and our choir classes. What fun memories of Madrigals and a’cappella with her. Mrs. Hewlett has left an impression on so many of us, and was so loved. What a legacy she has left behind. As far as I know, she never had her own biological children, but she mentored us each like a mother. I loved her.

- Liz Spendlove Lappi

I loved working with Julie. I would take free hour and visit her humanities class, it was wonderful. She was personalble and very organized. We had a good team at Highland High School. And Julie is my last connection with that school. I miss her.

- Darol Denison

My “Christmas Star 2020
dedication this year goes out to:


(long post alert 😢)

While I was in 6th grade at Beacon Heights Elementary in Salt Lake City UT, “Miss Hayes” brought her Jr. High Boy’s Glee Choir to sing at an assembly.

I got CHILLS listening to this finely tuned, 4 part harmony boys choir!From that moment on, I fell in love with choral music and knew singing in choirs was for me!

I sang in the Hillside Jr. High Boys Glee all three years (7th - 9th grade). The Spring Concerts at Hillside Jr High had the reputation of being “Broadway” in their musical quality and dicipline. (Dad actually paid a professional sound engineer to record one of the concerts on reel to reel tape 😲. )

Miss Hayes was always looking to expand our cultural experiences.
In Jr High, she took the whole Boys Glee on a musical field trip to see the famous King Singer’s from England at the BYU Marriott Center.

In 9th grade I took World Geography from Miss Hayes and gained a LOVE for the world’s diverse cultures and climates.
She planted the seeds of world exploration that flowered in a formal Study Abroad in college at BYU as part of my undergraduate work (BYU London Centre Fall ‘83).

That semester, and a term, I Eurorailed through continental Europe, staying at youth hostels and seeing the AMAZING art, architecture and diverse culture and historically significant sites available in that part of the world.

I was VERY fortunate during that Study Abroad to take a week long side trip to the USSR with Stan Peterson (David M. Kennedy Center BYU) visiting Moscow and Leningrad. I learned first hand, what it felt like living in a communist country.

We also had an opportunity to take a life changing side trip to the Holy Land touring Israel (Old Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Sea of Galilee, Dead Sea) staying at a kibbutz outside Jerusalem.

Julie “graduated” with me when the 9th grades were moved from the Jr Highs in the Salt Lake School district to the High Schools and I was part of the first
Highland High Barbershop Choir, my Sophmore year. I learned first hand the challenges inherent in close harmony, four part men’s singing.

She married Lester Hewlett during my high school years. Les, a former LDS Mission President, helped in my preparation to serve successfully in the England Leeds Mission 🇬🇧!

Les and Julie actually accompanied me when I received my endowment in the Salt Lake Temple.



for your example and teachings of:

• tolerance
• love of diversity and cultures
• world exploration
• love of music
• personal discipline
• striving for excellence
• love of our Savior, Jesus Christ

that you gave ME and COUNTLESS THOUSANDS of students through all the years you taught at Hillside Jr. and Highland High Schools in the Salt Lake area!

Your Influence has and continues to be felt in the lives of your students.

We 💕❤️💕 You!


Former student Comments:

Heidi Nelson Jenkins:
An amazing woman. I love her. I didn't realize you had so much more experience and deeper friendship with her than a few of us did, and even knowing her hubby. Blessings!

Catherine A Evans:
I second your choice.

Bonnie Barker Howard:
Thanks Greg. She was so impactful through her skillfull teaching of choral music and helping us know how to behave. It seems fitting that she and Dean Collett have passed so close together. Both influenced so many lives for good. I remember she had back pain even when she was teaching at Hillside so I’m happy she’s out of pain.

Wendy Goates England:
Well said Greg!! My favorite teacher as well. So many fun memories.

Kenneth Hadlock:
All of the sudden, Bach’s “Little” Fuge in G Minor keeps repeating in my brain. She was my most influential teacher!

Annejanine Freeman Etzle:
Thanks for letting us know. Another great teacher gone!

Chandra Anderson Thompson Roberson:
I'm so sad. She made a world of difference in my life. I love and appreciate her so much.

Carrie Miner:
She was at Deans funeral. She was so great. I learned all about world history and music!

Alicia Richardson:
What a nice tribute! Her influence and class were felt by many! May she rest in peace knowing she made the world a much better place. The halls of Highland have seen some AMAZING educators. I feel fortunate to have sat in a few of their classes!
Hail Highland High, the school that we will always cheer……..!

- Greg Goates - former student

When I was shift coordinator on the Wednesday PM shift of the Salt Lake Temple, Sister Hewlett was one of my wonderful workers. She was one I could always count on. When I needed someone for a special or a sticky task, I knew I could always count on multi-talented Julie to take care of it in the right way. Whether it was escorting a new bride or greeting the patrons in the front foyer she was genuine, caring, totally upbeat and always flashing that incredible smile.. I love Julie. She is a beautiful person inside and out. My love and condolences go to the family because I know she leaves a big hole. But, I'm so happy for Julie that she is now in a glorious place with her wonderful husband.

- Win Peterson

Mrs. Hewlett was the most influential teacher I had at Highland. I loved singing with her all 4 years but her Humanities class began in me a love of the arts that still remains today. I can still identify random symphonies when I hear them! I still remember her loving, but to the point, life lessons she wove into her teaching. Going to Europe for the first time with her and Dean was a dream come true. I’ve been back many times and have shared the masterpieces she taught me to love and appreciate with my own children. She is a remarkable woman who blessed 1000s of students with her love and passion for the Arts. Her influence will continue to be felt.
With Gratitude,
Natalie Peterson Gleave

- Natalie Peterson Gleave

We are sorry for your loss.

- Katharine and Peter Federman

One day I was walking home from school and Mrs. Hewlett stopped to give me a ride. I have often reflected on that small, generous gesture.. I struggled socially in high school and it was clear Mrs. Hewlett knew she could make a difference. I don't remember what we talked about on that car ride or even most of the things I learned in her class, but she helped me understand that I wasn't alone, that there was someone at school who cared about me. Thank you, Mrs. Hewlett, for teaching me to work hard, to be a better student, and to be a better person. I will never forget you.

--Jennilyn Farr Derbidge (Former Student)

- Jennilyn Farr Derbidge - Former Student

"Mrs. Hayes"... Julie Hayes Hewlett was one of the pivotal forces for good in my life. When I first met her in 1971, She had come to Beacon Heights Elementary to audition kids for her boys acapella choir. at Hillside Junior High just down the hill. I was a shy kid that never really fit in with the other children of my age. She saw something in me and when I enrolled at Hillside, there she was. She taught my first class. Her kindness and patience were knew no bounds. She fostered my love of music, taught me of beauty and the joy to be found in creativity. She would let me arrive early, since my own mother was a teacher and had to travel very early to her job. I would quietly try to compose on the piano while she prepared for class. One early morning we caught sight of the big Cheese-wheel Moon descending in the west as the sun started peaking over from the east.. We both marveled at its mystery. Then after class started, we would all join in unified voice to sing like the angels. There were times where each boy would sort of float out of class after being fundamentally and emotionally altered through the power of musical chords in combination that improved our moods, calmed our spirit, and fed our souls- even for a little while. You know how tweenage boys can be. She was a friend and mentor to me. I was in short supply of friends my own age. She even taught me piano lessons for a time. When she moved to teach at Highland High, I joined her as a freshman and was grateful to be in her boys choir while going to Highschool as well. She was a source of comfort and encouragement when I needed it most Highschool was tough for a teen like me. It was her constant kind words and encouragement that helped sustain me through those difficult times. Respecting her and appreciating her was easy. Who in their right mind would want to disappoint her? I spent 7 years being taught by her, being around her, and learning life's lessons from her. I was very honored to go to her wedding reception and meet "Lester Franklin". He was perfect for her. He was very kind, gentle, and knew deeply what a special and wonderful person she really was. I graduated from Highland and was glad of it, considering how mean and hateful a majority of the student were. I went back to see her a few years later. She was in the cafeteria wiping whipped cream off of her face with a towel. It was a class carnival, and she was at a booth where if you paid a dollar (for charity etc.), you could throw a cream pie at a teacher with their head stuck through a barrier. We both hugged each other and laughed at the timing; and I admired her all the more for "taking one for the team". She opened my eyes to beauty in all its forms, but her door way was choral music. Teachers shape the lives of countless people, they can change the course of history, influence culture and enhance our perspectives. They are the unsung heroes and heroines of humans. Julianna Hayes Hewlett was one of the best. It is a great loss that we suffer with her passing. To continue her legacy, we must be kind, patient, strong in the faith and potential of others, work tirelessly to perfect what ever art you learn, and be a respectful companion and colleague. If you teach, or mentor, and find yourself in a quandary, ask yourself 'what would Mrs. Hewlett do?', you'll never go wrong. May she rest and relax in paradise- knowing that her influence spread ripples of good and nurturing- far out into this weary world. May love, contentment, and Lester Franklin accompany her where ever she goes.

- Randy T. Burks