On Tuesday May 2nd, Fawna Gillette Jones, unexpectedly passed away from liver failure at the age of 56, surrounded by family and much love. Her family is deeply saddened and will miss her greatly.
On July 1, 1966, a darling third girl was added to the Paul/ Luann Gillette family living in
Fresno, California at the time. Paula and Juliann had a new sister. She always loved her unusual name of Fawna. Then in 1967 the family moved to Bountiful, Utah and three brothers were added to the family: Daniel, Charles (Chuck) and Blake.
Fawna was a lively, intelligent little girl who loved to perform, entertain and enjoy life. Her first musical was with Bountiful Community Theater as Brigitta in the Sound of Music. She developed a beautiful singing voice. Fawna and her sisters formed a trio that sang on many occasions including weddings. She enjoyed summer drama and her sophomore year she was picked for the lead in the high school musical Carnival. This was the beginning of her life-long love of watching and performing in musical theater, gracing the stage at every level from church, community, to professional.
She started to compete in beauty competitions and at age 17 was crowned as Utah’s Jr. Miss, appearing on the nationally televised competition where she won the Kraft Award for her party plans. Later she was also crowned as Miss Davis County. After her marriage while living in Kansas City, she was crowned as Mrs. Kansas (including an award for Most Whimsical) and competed again on a televised broadcast at the National Level.
Fawna worked at the Lagoon Amusement Park in Farmington, Utah as a musical performer, mostly for the popular Music USA show. Her first year was together with her sister Paula, and she went on to perform 11 summers; her last summer at Lagoon when she was pregnant with her first child. She also performed all over the country as a professional singer and entertainer including places like Magic Mountain, California; Reno, Nevada; and Atlantic City, New Jersey. She attended BYU in the Music Dance Theatre Program. As a BYU Young Ambassador, she had opportunities to perform across the country and the world with a trip to the Middle East.
She was married and transferred to the University of Utah to complete her degree with a major in English and graduated with a 4.0. Over the next eight years, as her husband went through school, she nurtured their small family of three children: Jasmine, Shannara, and Jameson. There she worked with Susan Easton Black on the display for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Missouri State Capital. She also still found time for theater, even with three little ones, taking a couple roles in shows such as Bus Stop which she greatly enjoyed.
She fulfilled many roles in the church throughout the years. She was always willing to help plan events and put together programs. Her favorite calling--and that most suited to her talents and energy--was as Primary Music Leader where she diligently and enthusiastically taught the gospel to children through her love of music.
For many years, she used her excellent writing skills and wrote the movie review column for the Davis County Clipper. Fawna loved movies! You couldn’t spend too much time with Fawna without hearing her quote a movie line or two. Her memory was impeccable, and she could tell you the winning Best Picture movie of any year. She loved the game “Name that Movie,” quoting movie lines for others to guess; she always won.
Anyone who knew Fawna knew of her love of games: board games, trivia games, and everything in between. She was a joy to play with because of her warm and bubbly personality. She also was the Queen of Karaoke; she knew every 80’s song by heart and most others too. She instilled this love of New Wave and synth beats in her children as well. She loved the TV show Survivor --tried out several times to be a competitor, progressing several steps into the tryout--and having mock tribal councils with her family. She loved parties and hosting, decorating for holidays or special events, and she was always happiest when she was surrounded by people.
At the first opportunity, the family moved back to Utah and planted roots in Orem. Fawna took it upon herself to become an expert gardener and her efforts won several neighborhood Best Garden awards. She was a very giving teacher and friend, blessing the lives of many, such as when she taught at Canyon View Junior High helping the youth. She frequently taught music lessons and participated in even more theater such as starring as Lily St Regis in Annie or playing along with her brother Blake in Joseph…Dreamcoat.
Of all her achievements and passions, Fawna will likely be best known as a devoted mother. Her children will be forever grateful for her constant desire to be supportive and loving. She was at her best when she was focused on the needs of her children (or others), always willing to give money, time, energy, whatever was needed to help her kids through the trials of life. She supported their interests (though of course she was especially excited to support them in musical theater), used her proficient writing skills and academic prowess to help with school assignments, and always provided an abundance of fun. She went above and beyond, such as when she planned three(!) highly intricate Amazing Race birthday parties.
In the last few years, Fawna was able to show how much she shines as a grandmother. She loved her two beautiful grandchildren Eloise and Oliver and looked forward to tending them whenever she could, already nurturing their performing abilities. She was incredibly generous and loving, always thinking of when she could play with them again, and we know that she will continue to treasure her role as a grandmother, blessing the lives of her grandchildren from afar.
After her divorce, she became reacquainted with Jim Dale, a friend she met in the theater, and they soon became a couple. The family would like to thank Jim for his love, care, and companionship during these last several years. It was wonderful to know that she had someone with whom she could be her true self and live life to the fullest. He made her feel smart, beautiful and cherished.
Fawna had an amazing, thrilling and colorful life, and most of all she will be remembered for her effervescence and generous, loving spirit. When she was needed, she would give. Fawna, our “magenta sheep,” you are beautiful, loving, adventurous, kind-hearted, incredibly talented, bubbly, fun, and a fabulous daughter, sister, friend, mother, and grandmother. You will be dearly missed.
She is now with her father, Paul Gillette, who passed before her in 2019. She is survived by her mother, Luann; her children, Jasmine (and Spencer) Hohl, Shannara, and Jameson; her beloved grandchildren, Eloise and Oliver; her siblings, Paula, Juliann, Daniel (Danny), Charles (Chuck), and Blake, cousins and relatives who all loved her.
Memorial Service to be held on Monday May 8th at 11 AM at the church at 650 E 2150 S, Bountiful, UT. Viewings on Sunday May 9th from 6-8 PM and Monday May 8th from 10-11 AM at the same location.
Please join us via zoom if you can’t make it in person.