Cover photo
Dean Ashton Collett profile photo
Dean Ashton Collett
Home / Dean Ashton Collett

Dean Ashton Collett

Sep 30, 1928 Jun 13, 2023

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.



Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Wilford Stake Center

Tuesday, June 20, 2023 at 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

1765 East 3080 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84106

Funeral Service

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Wilford Stake Center

Tuesday, June 20, 2023 at 8:00 PM

1765 East 3080 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84106

Services Handled By

Memorial Mountain View Mortuary & Cemetery

3115 East 7800 South

Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121

Memorial Mountain View Mortuary & Cemetery logo

Personal Information

Life Story Info

Post Date
Jun 15, 2023
Concerned about this Life Story? Please let us know.
© 2024 | A Deseret Digital Media Company