" Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird "
As the sun rose over her beloved Wasatch Mountains on June 17, Loretta Joy Hillman loosened her grip on this life,
lifted off, and took flight into the hereafter. She was 89.
Loretta was not expected to question authority. She was a dutiful daughter, a caring sister, a loving wife, and a
dedicated mother. Yet by nature she was introspective. And so as life unfolded with hardships and challenges,
she found herself questioning the expectations and constraints of society. She became an advocate for women's
She valued education, earning a degree in Linguistics. She taught English as a Second Language through the
University of Utah. And in 1982 she spent a year teaching at Hangzhou University in China.
Although she had not previously been athletic, at the age of forty she joined the Wasatch Mountain Club. From then
on she spent her free time hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, kayaking, and white water rafting. She formed
deep friendships. And through her reading of the works of naturalists and western authors, she became an
Loretta loved the arts and introduced her children to music, painting, poetry, and literature. This appreciation
as well her love of learning and her love of the natural world lives on in her children and in their children.
She also possessed a finely-tuned sense of humor and a dramatic flair. Her story telling was always riveting and not
necessarily hemmed-in by the facts.
In recent years she felt the anguish of losing a cherished grandson, a son-in-law, and her eldest child.
Yet she loved life passionately, quoting the poet Dylan Thomas:
Do not go gentle into that good night.
And she did not. Her spirit soared heavenward as the blaze of dawn lit up the mountains and canyons she loved.
"Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's re-creation of the new day"
Private graveside services will be held.