Dean Ashton Collett passed away peacefully in his home on June 13, 2023. He was born to Amy Mae Ashton and Richard George Collett on September 30, 1928. What a glorious reunion it must have been for Dean to embrace all his loved ones who had passed on before him.

Dean is survived by his sister Carol (Judy) Weidner and her children Lynnette (Bruce) Adams, Rebecca (Brad) Colligan, Allison (Patrick) Marcroft, Christine (Craig) Hansen, Amy (Mont) VanWagenen, Dianne (Troy) McBride, Mark (Alysia) Weidner, Suzanne (Das) Jettie; nieces and nephews Janice (Tom) Baker, Connie Connelly, Elbert Newport, Jim Newport, Sue (Larry) Hansen, Cyd (Jud) Bruns, Matt (Debbie) Collett, Jeff (Linda) Collett, Lindsay (James) Nebeker, Rick (Marilyn) Sutter, Debbie Blanchette, and Tamee (Lionel) Farr. Dean is also survived by Steve “Sport” (Jackie) Riley.

Dean had numerous nieces and nephews who adored their uncle! He never missed a baby blessing, baptism, missionary farewell/homecoming, or wedding. He loved to tease them and laugh with them. More than anything, Dean made each of them feel very special and loved. They will forever cherish the times they shared with Uncle Dean at family dinners, holiday gatherings, and on Facetime calls.

Although Dean never married nor had children of his own, he watched over the fatherless. He helped raise many young people and even taught three generations from the same families. One of the youth Dean tutored, mentored, and took under his wing was Steve Riley. Dean nicknamed Steve “Sport.” They shared a father-son relationship that spanned more than 50 years.

Dean is preceded in death by his parents Amy Mae Ashton and Richard George Collett, sister Maxine (Charlie) Halverson, sister Donna Collett, brother Richard George “RG” (Shirleen) Collett, sister Shirley (Glen) Sutter, and brother-in-law David (Carol) Weidner.

Dean graduated from East High School in 1945. He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Sweden for three years. When Dean boarded the ship for his mission, he was only 17…he celebrated his 18th birthday on the ship. Dean began his mission at a stature of 5’ 7”, and when he returned home, he stood at 6’ 2”!

Following his missionary service, Dean served in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict and was stationed in Germany. He had a tremendous love of God and country throughout his life.

Dean had a strong testimony of and commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He emulated the teachings of the Savior in the way he treated others.

Following his military service, Dean graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education.

Dean began his career as an educator at Highland High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. He started working there the year the school opened and spent his entire 65-year career as a Highland Ram. Dean was an educator through and through. He epitomized this title every day of his life. The name “Dean Collett” is synonymous with Highland. He was truly a legend. He was the tall man with a smile that greeted students, coworkers, and families at every high school football game, play, concert, and dance. He is the pillar and foundation of Highland. There will never be another quite so unique. He had a perfect attendance record for Highland football, having attended every home and road game during his long career. The relationships Dean developed throughout his tenure continue today with Highland alumni. He taught math, Russian, and German. He also led Student Government and the Yearbook Staff. For decades, Dean worked tirelessly as a counselor, often providing pizza for students who needed encouragement. He frequently tutored struggling students and provided guidance to freshmen.

Highland High School honored Dean by installing a bronze bust of him commissioned by one of his students. The school later dedicated “Collett Commons” in Dean’s honor, which features a magnificent oil painting of Dean, also created by a student.

You could always be sure Dean had the famous See’s suckers and red licorice in his desk drawer, available for students at any time! For 65 years, he walked Highland’s hallways. He led so many in so many ways.

In 1998, Dean received the Distinguished Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education.

Dean was an usher at the University of Utah for more than 50 years. He would enthusiastically greet fans with a smile as they passed through the turn styles of the Huntsman Center and Rice Eccles Stadium. He would occasionally permit a family member or close friend to enter the venue at no charge! Dean also loved the arts and enjoyed working as an usher at Capitol Theater.

Nearly every summer, one of Dean’s personal highlights was taking students to tour Europe. If you were privileged to have been on one of his trips, it was something you’ll never forget. His sister Carol (Judy) and her late husband Dave cherish their memories of adventures to Europe with Dean, his students, and their fellow chaperones. There was never a dull moment!

Dean was very social and loved to gather with friends at local diners. You could often find him at The Dodo, Hires, Over the Counter, Little America, Crown Burger, Dee’s, Banbury Cross, and Carol’s Pastry Shop. It was always a social event when you went anywhere with Dean, as former students could pick him out of the crowd!

Dean was a mentor and powerful influencer who impacted lives too numerous to count. He always made time to care for lost souls, and often guided troubled youth who needed love and encouragement. He had the innate ability to help struggling young people make more of their lives. Dean offered financial assistance and emotional guidance to those who needed a friend and a listening ear. He purchased bikes, cars, wedding rings, and missionary “CTR” rings for his friends. He also assisted many with missions, weddings, and college tuition. Because of his example and devotion to teaching, Dean inspired many students to pursue careers in education. He received phone calls and visits daily from Highland alumni, friends, and family with whom he kindled lifelong friendships.

A memorial service will be held in Dean’s honor at Highland High School on Friday, June 23, 2023, at 8:00 PM. The memorial service will be held “under the lights” in the football stadium, as this was one of his favorite places.

Dean’s funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Wilford Stake Center, 1765 East 3080 South in Salt Lake City, Utah 84106. A viewing will be held from 12:00-1:30PM on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, at the same location. Interment with military funeral honors will follow at Memorial Mountain View Mortuary and Cemetery, 3115 East 7800 South, Cottonwood Heights, Utah 84121.

Services

Viewing

Tuesday, Jun. 20, 2023 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Wilford Stake Center
1765 East 3080 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84106

Funeral Service

Tuesday, Jun. 20, 2023 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Wilford Stake Center
1765 East 3080 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84106

Services Handled By

Memorial Mountain View Mortuary & Cemetery
3115 East 7800 South
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Life Story Info

Post Date

Jun 15, 2023

Personal Info

Age

94
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Guestbook

One of life’s greatest treasures. The love and many memories he leaves will be carried by many more generations. My honor to know such a kind soul.

Maxine Patrakis Turner

Maxine Patrakis Turner Jun 30, 2023

One of life’s greatest treasures. The love and many memories he leaves will be carried by many more generations. My honor to know such a kind soul.

Maxine Patrakis Turner

Maxine Patrakis Turner Jun 30, 2023

One of life’s greatest treasures. The love and many memories he leaves will be carried by many more generations. My honor to know such a kind soul.

Maxine Patrakis Turner

Maxine Patrakis Turner Jun 30, 2023

It's definitely hard to see Dean go, but I can't help but feel he's just beyond the veil, still cheering us on. The memorial was a great tribute. Thanks to that memorial, I've finally been able to gather my thoughts together to share what's in my heart. I told my mother of 93 about the memorial and, as she always does, remembered a few things from the past even better than I could.

I first met Dean after I injured my knee in the last football game of my senior season at Highland in 1978. Soon after my father drove me to Holy Cross hospital, I found out that Sport (Steve Riley) was either there or arriving soon to have some surgery of his own. My mom reminded me that sometime after meeting Dean at the hospital, he arranged for Sport and I to be in the same room so it would be easier for friends of the team and family to visit both of us. I vaguely recall Dean taking care of some other odds and ends for me as well.

From that point on, Dean became a great mentor and friend to me and my family's. I was kind of rough around the edges back then (and still am to some degree), but Dean befriended me and somehow knew I needed his influence. He gave me an educated, gentle example of a person who genuinely cared for others, as well as provided me a blue print of how to be a better person, through sheer example.

About a year later, a few weeks after walking on to the University of Utah baseball team, I decided to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My dad wasn't happy about it, but I remember Dean was. He would become my escort as I went through the Salt Lake Temple for the first time. Later, he would speak at my mission farewell and eventually see me off at the airport as I departed for Germany. And many years after that, he would serve as a witness for me and my wife’s marriage.

When I first met Dean, there were only 20 years of students before me. That has since tripled. Still, through the years, we tried to stay in touch, and he was always there for me as an ever wise friend and guide. For many years, Dean called on my birthday. He always cared about what I was doing, where I was going, and it was always a comfort to have someone to "look up" to. I was grateful I was able to visit with him in person one more time recently.

Thanks to Dean, I've probably been on a better life path than I ever could have been without his care and guidance.

Thank you, Dean. And as Sport was kind enough to pass on to him for me before he passed on, “We love you, we are grateful for you, and we no doubt will see you soon."

Brian Berthold , Mapleton, UT, US Jun 26, 2023

It's definitely hard to see Dean go, but I can't help but feel he's just beyond the veil, still cheering us on. The memorial was a great tribute. Thanks to that memorial, I've finally been able to gather my thoughts together to share what's in my heart. I told my mother of 93 about the memorial and, as she always does, remembered a few things from the past even better than I could.

I first met Dean after I injured my knee in the last football game of my senior season at Highland in 1978. Soon after my father drove me to Holy Cross hospital, I found out that Sport (Steve Riley) was either there or arriving soon to have some surgery of his own. My mom reminded me that sometime after meeting Dean at the hospital, he arranged for Sport and I to be in the same room so it would be easier for friends of the team and family to visit both of us. I vaguely recall Dean taking care of some other odds and ends for me as well.

From that point on, Dean became a great mentor and friend to me and my family's. I was kind of rough around the edges back then (and still am to some degree), but Dean befriended me and somehow knew I needed his influence. He gave me an educated, gentle example of a person who genuinely cared for others, as well as provided me a blue print of how to be a better person, through sheer example.

About a year later, a few weeks after walking on to the University of Utah baseball team, I decided to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My dad wasn't happy about it, but I remember Dean was. He would become my escort as I went through the Salt Lake Temple for the first time. Later, he would speak at my mission farewell and eventually see me off at the airport as I departed for Germany. And many years after that, he would serve as a witness for me and my wife’s marriage.

When I first met Dean, there were only 20 years of students before me. That has since tripled. Still, through the years, we tried to stay in touch, and he was always there for me as an ever wise friend and guide. For many years, Dean called on my birthday. He always cared about what I was doing, where I was going, and it was always a comfort to have someone to "look up" to. I was grateful I was able to visit with him in person one more time recently.

Thanks to Dean, I've probably been on a better life path than I ever could have been without his care and guidance.

Thank you, Dean. And as Sport was kind enough to pass on to him for me before he passed on, “We love you, we are grateful for you, and we no doubt will see you soon."

Brian Berthold , Mapleton, UT, US Jun 26, 2023

It's definitely hard to see Dean go, but I can't help but feel he's just beyond the veil, still cheering us on. The memorial was a great tribute. Thanks to that memorial, I've finally been able to gather my thoughts together to share what's in my heart. I told my mother of 93 about the memorial and, as she always does, remembered a few things from the past even better than I could.

I first met Dean after I injured my knee in the last football game of my senior season at Highland in 1978. Soon after my father drove me to Holy Cross hospital, I found out that Sport (Steve Riley) was either there or arriving soon to have some surgery of his own. My mom reminded me that sometime after meeting Dean at the hospital, he arranged for Sport and I to be in the same room so it would be easier for friends of the team and family to visit both of us. I vaguely recall Dean taking care of some other odds and ends for me as well.

From that point on, Dean became a great mentor and friend to me and my family's. I was kind of rough around the edges back then (and still am to some degree), but Dean befriended me and somehow knew I needed his influence. He gave me an educated, gentle example of a person who genuinely cared for others, as well as provided me a blue print of how to be a better person, through sheer example.

About a year later, a few weeks after walking on to the University of Utah baseball team, I decided to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My dad wasn't happy about it, but I remember Dean was. He would become my escort as I went through the Salt Lake Temple for the first time. Later, he would speak at my mission farewell and eventually see me off at the airport as I departed for Germany. And many years after that, he would serve as a witness for me and my wife’s marriage.

When I first met Dean, there were only 20 years of students before me. That has since tripled. Still, through the years, we tried to stay in touch, and he was always there for me as an ever wise friend and guide. For many years, Dean called on my birthday. He always cared about what I was doing, where I was going, and it was always a comfort to have someone to "look up" to. I was grateful I was able to visit with him in person one more time recently.

Thanks to Dean, I've probably been on a better life path than I ever could have been without his care and guidance.

Thank you, Dean. And as Sport was kind enough to pass on to him for me before he passed on, “We love you, we are grateful for you, and we no doubt will see you soon."

Brian Berthold , Mapleton, UT, US Jun 26, 2023

It's definitely hard to see Dean go, but I can't help but feel he's just beyond the veil, still cheering us on. The memorial was a great tribute. Thanks to that memorial, I've finally been able to gather my thoughts together to share what's in my heart. I told my mother of 93 about the memorial and, as she always does, remembered a few things from the past even better than I could.

I first met Dean after I injured my knee in the last football game of my senior season at Highland in 1978. Soon after my father drove me to Holy Cross hospital, I found out that Sport (Steve Riley) was either there or arriving soon to have some surgery of his own. My mom reminded me that sometime after meeting Dean at the hospital, he arranged for Sport and I to be in the same room so it would be easier for friends of the team and family to visit both of us. I vaguely recall Dean taking care of some other odds and ends for me as well.

From that point on, Dean became a great mentor and friend to me and my family's. I was kind of rough around the edges back then (and still am to some degree), but Dean befriended me and somehow knew I needed his influence. He gave me an educated, gentle example of a person who genuinely cared for others, as well as provided me a blue print of how to be a better person, through sheer example.

About a year later, a few weeks after walking on to the University of Utah baseball team, I decided to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My dad wasn't happy about it, but I remember Dean was. He would become my escort as I went through the Salt Lake Temple for the first time. Later, he would speak at my mission farewell and eventually see me off at the airport as I departed for Germany. And many years after that, he would serve as a witness for me and my wife’s marriage.

When I first met Dean, there were only 20 years of students before me. That has since tripled. Still, through the years, we tried to stay in touch, and he was always there for me as an ever wise friend and guide. For many years, Dean called on my birthday. He always cared about what I was doing, where I was going, and it was always a comfort to have someone to "look up" to. I was grateful I was able to visit with him in person one more time recently.

Thanks to Dean, I've probably been on a better life path than I ever could have been without his care and guidance.

Thank you, Dean. And as Sport was kind enough to pass on to him for me before he passed on, “We love you, we are grateful for you, and we no doubt will see you soon."

Brian Berthold , Mapleton, UT, US Jun 26, 2023

It's definitely hard to see Dean go, but I can't help but feel he's just beyond the veil, still cheering us on. The memorial was a great tribute. Thanks to that memorial, I've finally been able to gather my thoughts together to share what's in my heart. I told my mother of 93 about the memorial and, as she always does, remembered a few things from the past even better than I could.

I first met Dean after I injured my knee in the last football game of my senior season at Highland in 1978. Soon after my father drove me to Holy Cross hospital, I found out that Sport (Steve Riley) was either there or arriving soon to have some surgery of his own. My mom reminded me that sometime after meeting Dean at the hospital, he arranged for Sport and I to be in the same room so it would be easier for friends of the team and family to visit both of us. I vaguely recall Dean taking care of some other odds and ends for me as well.

From that point on, Dean became a great mentor and friend to me and my family's. I was kind of rough around the edges back then (and still am to some degree), but Dean befriended me and somehow knew I needed his influence. He gave me an educated, gentle example of a person who genuinely cared for others, as well as provided me a blue print of how to be a better person, through sheer example.

About a year later, a few weeks after walking on to the University of Utah baseball team, I decided to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My dad wasn't happy about it, but I remember Dean was. He would become my escort as I went through the Salt Lake Temple for the first time. Later, he would speak at my mission farewell and eventually see me off at the airport as I departed for Germany. And many years after that, he would serve as a witness for me and my wife’s marriage.

When I first met Dean, there were only 20 years of students before me. That has since tripled. Still, through the years, we tried to stay in touch, and he was always there for me as an ever wise friend and guide. For many years, Dean called on my birthday. He always cared about what I was doing, where I was going, and it was always a comfort to have someone to "look up" to. I was grateful I was able to visit with him in person one more time recently.

Thanks to Dean, I've probably been on a better life path than I ever could have been without his care and guidance.

Thank you, Dean. And as Sport was kind enough to pass on to him for me before he passed on, “We love you, we are grateful for you, and we no doubt will see you soon."

Brian Berthold , Mapleton, UT, US Jun 26, 2023

I worked with Dean for 2 years he was always happy and smiling, you are missed my friend.

Roger Christensen , Tooele, UT, US Jun 20, 2023

I worked with Dean for 2 years he was always happy and smiling, you are missed my friend.

Roger Christensen , Tooele, UT, US Jun 20, 2023

I worked with Dean for 2 years he was always happy and smiling, you are missed my friend.

Roger Christensen , Tooele, UT, US Jun 20, 2023

A true icon and mentor. The Miners wwrw in classes 67, 68,69 90,93 and 97

Gene Miner , West Jordan, UT, US Jun 19, 2023

Dean was a very special uncle. He always had nicknames for everyone, mine was bubbles. Although I hadn't seen him for a while, I thought about him always. He was very much loved

Janice Baker , South Jordan, UT, US Jun 17, 2023

I came to know Dean when I attended Highland High. He was so much more than just a teacher to me. He was a mentor and actually a father figure. He always gave me words of encouragement not only while at was at Highland, but throughout my entire life. I can truly say he was one of the most influential people in my life. He never gave up on me and always made me feel special. Every year on my birthday, I would get a call from Dean wishing me a happy birthday and letting me know he still thinks of and cares for me. I know he did this for so many, but I don't know if he truly realized how wonderful it was and helped so many like me. Dean is a man I will always remember and never forget the lessons he taught me. I know he has had glorious reunions with his family who have been waiting for him on the other side of the veil. No truer words can be said about this man that I am sure he heard from his Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. "Well Done Though Good and Faithful Servant". Rest in peace my friend until we meet again!

Stuart McIver , Washington, UT, US Jun 16, 2023

I came to know Dean when I attended Highland High. He was so much more than just a teacher to me. He was a mentor and actually a father figure. He always gave me words of encouragement not only while at was at Highland, but throughout my entire life. I can truly say he was one of the most influential people in my life. He never gave up on me and always made me feel special. Every year on my birthday, I would get a call from Dean wishing me a happy birthday and letting me know he still thinks of and cares for me. I know he did this for so many, but I don't know if he truly realized how wonderful it was and helped so many like me. Dean is a man I will always remember and never forget the lessons he taught me. I know he has had glorious reunions with his family who have been waiting for him on the other side of the veil. No truer words can be said about this man that I am sure he heard from his Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. "Well Done Though Good and Faithful Servant". Rest in peace my friend until we meet again!

Stuart McIver , Washington, UT, US Jun 16, 2023

I took German from Dean. He made every student feel important. I had the privilege of living across the street from Dean. I spent a lot of time over there, as did many other students. I took Dean cookies every Christmas. He always said he froze my cookies to eat a bit at time, and they were his favorite holiday treat. I don't if they really were, but I loved his appreciation. We usually would exchange gifts, up until this past year. I did get to visit him in January. I had a major crush on him in Highschool, which turned to friendship and respect. When I had my voice, I'd sing to him at Christmas. I loved Dean.

Raylene Lyon Jun 15, 2023

I was at Highland with Dean for 24 years.

I taught music. He always organized and ran the box office for our musical productions. He always helped me get students scheduled into band or orchestra. Dean was one of the finest men I ever knew. Farewell friend.

Robert Curry , Rockingham, VA, US Jun 15, 2023

I was at Highland with Dean for 24 years.

I taught music. He always organized and ran the box office for our musical productions. He always helped me get students scheduled into band or orchestra. Dean was one of the finest men I ever knew. Farewell friend.

Robert Curry , Rockingham, VA, US Jun 15, 2023

I was at Highland with Dean for 24 years.

I taught music. He always organized and ran the box office for our musical productions. He always helped me get students scheduled into band or orchestra. Dean was one of the finest men I ever knew. Farewell friend.

Robert Curry , Rockingham, VA, US Jun 15, 2023

I was at Highland with Dean for 24 years. He was one of the finest men I ever knew. Farewell friend.

Robert Curry , Rockingham, VA, US Jun 15, 2023

I arrived at HHS in 1977, new to teaching and Salt Lake City. I started the Resource Program and, therefore, had no department but relied heavily on the counselors, regarding knowledge and input about students, and as friendly faces to sit with during faculty gatherings. Dean stood out in so many ways but his genuine concern for others and his embraces were paramount. He loved life and the living. After I left HHS I working in several capacities, leaving the district and working at the U of U, Dean never once forgot who I was. Dean Collett was amazing to watch as he performed his magic on every student and colleague before him. Dean made a difference in the lives of many generations of students and it wasn't only through the courses he took to become an educator. Dean's heart and soul were programmed to provide an arm to be tucked under, an umbrella to stand under and eyes to see and embrace you. Not to offend others but the mold was broken after Dean was made. He will truly be missed.

Rickie McCandless , Salt Lake, UT, US Jun 15, 2023

I arrived at HHS in 1977, new to teaching and Salt Lake City. I started the Resource Program and, therefore, had no department but relied heavily on the counselors, regarding knowledge and input about students, and as friendly faces to sit with during faculty gatherings. Dean stood out in so many ways but his genuine concern for others and his embraces were paramount. He loved life and the living. After I left HHS I working in several capacities, leaving the district and working at the U of U, Dean never once forgot who I was. Dean Collett was amazing to watch as he performed his magic on every student and colleague before him. Dean made a difference in the lives of many generations of students and it wasn't only through the courses he took to become an educator. Dean's heart and soul were programmed to provide an arm to be tucked under, an umbrella to stand under and eyes to see and embrace you. Not to offend others but the mold was broken after Dean was made. He will truly be missed.

Rickie McCandless , Salt Lake, UT, US Jun 15, 2023

I arrived at HHS in 1977, new to teaching and Salt Lake City. I started the Resource Program and, therefore, had no department but relied heavily on the counselors, regarding knowledge and input about students, and as friendly faces to sit with during faculty gatherings. Dean stood out in so many ways but his genuine concern for others and his embraces were paramount. He loved life and the living. After I left HHS I working in several capacities, leaving the district and working at the U of U, Dean never once forgot who I was. Dean Collett was amazing to watch as he performed his magic on every student and colleague before him. Dean made a difference in the lives of many generations of students and it wasn't only through the courses he took to become an educator. Dean's heart and soul were programmed to provide an arm to be tucked under, an umbrella to stand under and eyes to see and embrace you. Not to offend others but the mold was broken after Dean was made. He will truly be missed.

Rickie McCandless , Salt Lake, UT, US Jun 15, 2023

Timeline


  • 2020
  • Jun 16, 2023

    When I think of Dean Collett I think of the Christlike attribute, CHARITY!