4780 N. University Ave., Provo 
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Phone: (801) 405-7444
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Ewan Mitton

Ewan E Mitton (Harbrecht)

Thursday, February 14th, 1929 - Friday, August 28th, 2020
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Because of Covid-19, there is a limited amount of people allowed to attend. The family requests that those who are comfortable viewing the services online to please do so.

To view services click on "Photos & Videos" tab above. If on a cell phone scroll to bottom.

EWAN HARBRECHT MITTON passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home in Provo, Utah, August 28, 2020. Ewan was born in Los Angeles, California on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1929 to parents Elizabeth Staubitz Harbrecht and Peter Fred Harbrecht. She was a person of faith, and was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all her life. She served the Church in many capacities, including singer, Gospel Doctrine teacher, Singing Mothers director of 250 voices, president in ward Primary and Relief Society, Stake Missionary and many music positions. She was always active in organizing and performing Church music. She felt a calling to research the genealogy of her family, and with the help of Trudy Schenk and Laurie Castillo, specialists in German research, they were able to obtain information on over 5,000 persons and provide service for them in the temples. Her love for the Lord and the Gospel was felt by all who knew her.
Ewan is survived by her husband George L. Mitton and their four children who live in Utah: Elizabeth (Shirl) Larsen, David (Andrea) Mitton, John (Nancy) Mitton and Esther (Charles) Phelts; 20 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren. Ewan and George met at Manhattan Ward in New York and were married in 1957 by Pres. David O. McKay in the Salt Lake Temple. They moved to Oregon where they raised their children, then retired in 1988 to Utah to be near their children.
Ewan had an extensive career in music and singing. She received her training in Los Angeles, Milan, London, Paris and New York. Her principal teacher was in Hollywood—Ruth Miller Chamlee, a noted singer of the Metropolitan Opera. Her technique learned from Chamlee reflects the Bel Canto method of singing which derives from Giovanni Sbriglia. Recently Ewan wrote and published instruction books on this method. She was a child prodigy and began professional singing at the age of twelve, giving solo concerts in many cities in California. She studied and performed opera under the direction of Jan Popper, and toured Northern California with his opera company, performing leading roles. At the University of Southern California she sang numerous operatic roles, both on stage and television under the direction of Carl Ebert and Wolfgang Martin. She participated in the “Spotlight on Opera” television series.
Ewan performed in many concert recitals and operas. She made her European debut at the Theatro Nuovo in Milan, then sang six years under Columbia Artists Management of New York, performing solo recitals in many parts of the United States and Canada. She was featured soloist with the Salt Lake Tabernacle Choir during the Choir’s first tour of Europe in 1955. During this tour she received a silver medal award from the City of Paris. She has sung as soloist with several noted symphony orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony under Koussevitsky, Goldovsky and Bernstein; the Hollywood Bowl Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the National Symphony, the Minneapolis Symphony under Antal Dorati, the Oregon and Seattle Symphonies, and the Utah Symphony under the direction of Maestro Abravanel. Her operatic appearances include performances at Juilliard, the Tanglewood Berkshire Festival, the New England Opera and the Portland and Seattle operas. She had the opportunity to sing in the premiere performance of a new opera by Robert Ward. She also sang the leading role in the U. S. premieres of Jacques Ibert’s “Le Roi D’Yvetot,” Stravinsky’s “Le Noces,” and Benjamin Britten’s “Albert Herring,” all under the supervision and direction of these noted composers. She also sang the lead in the U. S. premiere of Rossini’s “The Count Ory” in Boston under the direction of Boris Goldovsky.
Ewan taught vocal music for 24 years at Western Oregon University and served as director of the opera workshop there. Since moving to Provo, Utah after her retirement she taught one year at Brigham Young University, and maintained a private vocal studio for many years, assisting many local singers to develop their skills and further their musical careers. She served as Utah Governor of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, helping extend that organization to serve vocal teachers throughout Utah. She was active in organizing and performing church music. She served as President and a singer in the Ralph Woodward Chorale. In 1997 she was a moving force in the organization of the Utah Lyric Opera Society, affording Utah singers the opportunity to perform and share their talents. They have performed numerous productions from opera, operetta and Broadway musicals. In recognition of her efforts to encourage local musical artists, the Provo Arts Council awarded her the National Music Award in 1998. In 2004 she received an award from “Women in Leadership” for her example of the type of active role women can take in their communities. Also in 2004, she received the Woman of Achievement service award at the Miss Provo Pageant.
Services will be held Saturday September 5, 2020, at the Nelson Mortuary, 4780 N. University Ave., Provo, Utah. Visitation is from 12:00pm-1:45pm. The funeral service will begin at 2:00pm. Interment in the Logan City cemetery with service there will be on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 11:00am. For information phone (801) 405-7444. Masks are required if attending. Because of Covid-19, there is a limited number of people allowed to attend but none will be turned away. The family requests that those who are comfortable viewing the services online to please do so by going to the Mortuary’s website at A video recording of the service will also be made available for later viewing at the same site. Click on the “Photos & Videos” tab at Ewan’s obituary page (if on a cell phone scroll to bottom).
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, September 5th, 2020 | 12:00pm - 1:45pm
    Saturday, September 5th, 2020 12:00pm - 1:45pm
    Nelson Family Mortuary
    4780 N. University Ave.
    PROVO, UT 84604
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, September 5th, 2020 | 2:00pm
    Saturday, September 5th, 2020 2:00pm
    Nelson Family Mortuary
    4780 N. University Ave.
    PROVO, UT 84604
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 11:00am
    Logan City Cemetery
    1000 N 1200 E
    Logan, Utah 84321
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Private Condolence

Rich Wales

Posted at 09:27pm
So sorry to hear of Ewan Mitton's passing. I had the privilege of knowing her (even if only relatively briefly). I have no doubt but that she will be helping to watch over her family here, as well as having great joy with her many relatives and friends who have also passed beyond.

Elizabeth Mitton Larsen

Posted at 01:22pm
I feel so blessed to have had Ewan Harbrecht Mitton as my angel mother! She has been the best mother and example of a true disciple of Jesus Christ I could have ever asked for. Her love and devotion to her family on both sides of the veil is beyond compare. I know she will be with all of us as we continue on with our lives. I hope I can carry on the great legacy of faith, work, sacrifice, love of beauty and the arts, and generosity that she has left us all. Love you MOM!!

Ewan Davis Thompson

Posted at 10:16am
Heartbroken to hear of Ewan's passing. All my best wishes to her husband and family. I have known of her all my life for I carry her name. What a beautiful woman, a real force de vie, an inspiration with a beautiful voice and gift. My father left Eugene Oregon to teach Music at the University in British Columbia in Vancouver Canada. At the same time, Ewan was touring the Pacific Northwest (circa 1960) and her accompanist became ill and could not finish the tour. Someone recommended my father, and he got permission to take a short leave and serve as her pianist for the rest of the tour. Years later, I was born and I was named after this beautiful, accomplished woman who crossed paths with my parents and shared the gift of music. I had the pleasure of meeting Ewan in person when she moved to Provo and she and my mother found each other after a concert. They arranged for me to meet her next time I came back to the U.S. and Provo to visit. We laughed and laughed at the strangeness of hearing our name in reference to the other person. It was a once in a lifetime experience as I've never met anyone else with the same name pronunciation. Ewan and I kept in touch until we lost contact in one of my international moves (pre-social media). When I lived in Cincinnati Ohio, she reached out with a plan to visit and search for a infant brother's grave in the area. She told me of her family's history and how she got her name. I will never forget my conversations and interactions with her and was disappointed when health (I think) delayed her visit indefinitely. After a lifetime of being the only Ewan, we both loved meeting each other and sharing the stories of our name mispronunciation and mishaps. I have always cherished the Polaroid photo I attached, of Ewan and my Dad, D. Evan Davis on tour together. I loved Ewan's dress as a little girl and loved knowing I was named after such an accomplished but authentic warm woman. She will forever be a part of my life and legacy. I hope I can live up to her great name.

Michelle Forstrom

Posted at 11:07am
Ewan changed the course of my life. She taught me how to sing, how to act, and most of all how to love and perform music. Her larger than life personality and support gave me confidence to go after my dreams. When we performed in shows, she wrote everyone in the cast a handwritten letter of thanks and support. I saved all of mine. Her children and grandchildren performed in an orchestra at my wedding reception. I will never forget our weekly lessons and all of her encouragement and advice. I miss her telling me to smile as she warmed me up at the piano. How I love her! ~Michelle Caswell Forstrom

Elizabeth Watkins

Posted at 07:20pm
What a beautiful tribute to a magnificent woman! If she had done nothing beyond raising such a multitalented family, that would be an impressive legacy, but she accomplished so much more. I am deeply honored to have worked with her on her book, which will bless her students and the musical world in general for many generations to come. Thank you so much for sharing the service and the video with her recordings and photos. Her performance of "Du bist die ruh" is the most moving I have ever heard.

To her many descendants: I have seen the next life as well. It is as wondrous as she described. Look forward to it with joy, and never doubt that she knew it.

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