Shirley Anderson Hiatt

1929 ~ 2020

Shirley Anderson Hiatt, 91, beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and sister, passed away peacefully on October 17, 2020, in Draper, Utah, of causes incident to age.

Shirley was born July 16, 1929, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Byron D. and Nan Russell Anderson, the third of their four children. She attended local schools, graduating from East High School in 1946. She later attended the University of Utah and Brigham Young University. Shirley enjoyed an idyllic childhood on Harvard Avenue in Salt Lake City. She enjoyed horseback riding, drives up the canyon, and listening to radio programs with her family. Her father passed away when she was 13. The family pulled together to make ends meet and Shirley helped her mother a great deal at home and in caring for her younger brother, Steve.

Shirley was a gifted musician. She began piano lessons as a young girl and loved playing duets with her older sister, Karen; sometimes they would fall off the bench from laughing so hard. During her teenage years, she enjoyed accompanying a string quartet that performed for local events. She later trained extensively on the organ, studying with Tabernacle organist Roy Darley.

Shirley’s mother remarried and moved to La Grande, Oregon, where Shirley met Richard G. Hiatt at a church dance in 1947. They were married on December 27, 1951, in the Logan, Utah LDS Temple, and lived for over 50 years in La Grande, relocating to Utah in 2006. They are the parents of three daughters, Barbara, Julie and Denise.

Shirley devoted her life to her family and to serving others. She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. She kept an immaculate home; grew petunias, gladioli, and raspberries; sat with her daughters as they learned piano; and supported Dick in his career pursuits. Shirley had a wonderful sense of humor and laugh, and was a good listener. She enjoyed reading and travel. She also had a keen interest in family history and spent years with her husband compiling stories and photos into beautiful albums. The histories were patiently researched to ensure accuracy and were meticulously written and organized, with insistence on perfect spelling and punctuation. These family histories will be cherished for generations. Always considerate of the needs of others, Shirley quietly served neighbors and friends and endeared herself to everyone she met with her gracious nature and gentle kindness.

Shirley was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout her life. She served for decades as a ward organist, and accompanied countless choirs, soloists, and musical groups. Her superb musicianship in church callings blessed many lives. She also served for two years in the La Grande 1st Ward Relief Society presidency.

Shirley’s faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the loving care she showed her family will be her lasting legacy.

Shirley is survived by daughters Barbara Sweat (Dennis) of South Jordan, UT; Julie Higgins (Thomas) of Vancouver, WA; and Denise Haynie (Joseph) of Draper, UT; 8 grandchildren, Angela Hallstrom, Andrew Sweat, Anthony Sweat, Amy Huish, Benjamin Higgins, Julia Warren, Russell Higgins, and Emma Haynie; 25 great-grandchildren; and brother Stephen H. Anderson. She was preceded in death by her parents and husband; sister Karen A. Russell; brother Russell B. Anderson; and great-grandson Wyatt Hallstrom.

The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Ashford Memory Care and Bristol Hospice. Shirley was tenderly cared for and beloved by her caregivers.

Due to COVID-19, a memorial service will be held at a later date. Interment will be at Larkin Sunset Gardens in Sandy, Utah.


I remember Shirley and her husband Dick fondly when they lived in La Grande. I was particularly close with daughter Julie Higgins and would love to get a message to her.

If it's possible would you send Julie my name and email and possibly she will contact me.

Thank you, Sally

- Sally Brownton Wiens

Dear Family of Shirley Hiatt, 
     Over the years, I have been Shirley's visiting teacher and she mine.  I especially remember her visit after I had had a serious car wreck. She was such a good listener, really caring and willing to help.  I remember taking her some yellow mums one time and she planted them and they flourished under her care.  A tiny mum plant in a 4"x4" pot grew into a huge 4'x4' plant in her back yard. I took a transplant from them but did not get any blooms. 
Shirley was very talented musically and provided professional level piano and organ playing in our chapel.  I know she tried to make no mistakes and was very upset if she did.
Wes and I know her as modest, quiet cheerful and dear to all. She truly loved the Lord and served Him.  We have missed the Hiatts ever since they moved from La Grande.
     We are sorry you have lost her for now.  It is nice to know "Families are Forever". We pray the Lord will comfort you.                                                         
Wes and Marie Rampton

- Marie Jeannette Rampton

I have the fondest memories of both your parents. They were selfless, kind, gracious and most generous. My parents saved up and bought our piano from your folks when they bought a new piano. We couldn't afford piano lessons so I would skip school to go home and "Figure it out." Whenever I had a question about fingering for scales or any other Music Theory question your Mom was just a phone call away. Always helped me, encouraged me and made me believe that I could do it... and I did.

God Bless you all. Your family is much loved by ours!

- Edye Wagstaff

The obituary you girls put together for your mother is such an honoring tribute to her character. I am so grateful her mother came to La Grande, otherwise we would have been deprived of the many privileges this family brought to our community (both personally and professionally). I see her face in her daughters, it explains the humor I remember in my childhood friend, Barbara (Barbie). There can be no better reflection of a life well-lived than a family who carries on the practices of caring and sharing. Even though it has been 5 decades since our childhood antics, the caring and sharing is at the root of this family. My sincere condolences to each of you and your families. Nita K

- Nita Robertson Kelly

Great lady and very special husband and family. She and Richard were wonderful role models for those who grew up in their ward. Wonderful woman.

- Gordon & Cay Westenskow

Barbara, I was so sorry to see your mom in the obituaries. I know how hard a time this is for you. Even when you are expecting it, you are still not prepared. This is especially hard when you can't have a regular funeral. I loved reading about your mom and can certainly see where your wonderful musical talents come from. I still remember when President Summers, in his ward conference address, called Jay up to sing a solo instead of calling on someone to bear their testimony. Luckily, you were there and accompanied him like you two had been practicing all along! Your parents have blessed the lives of you girls in so many ways. Know that Jay and I are thinking of you as you go through this time in your life. I am so blessed to be your friend and to have shared with you so many wonderful memories.

- Jay and Bonnie Harding

Denise and Family,

I am sorry to learn of your Mother's recent passing while searching for my Fathers obituary in the Observer. We lost our Mother this past June at 93 years old and it is still fresh in our hearts. I am sure you will cherish the fond memories you have of her and I encourage you to do so. Take care.


- Kelly Odegaard