Julia Aren Hedges

Julia Aren Hedges

March 28, 1956 – January 23, 2024

Julia (Jill) Hedges passed peacefully on January 23, 2024 in Omaha, Ne. with a smile on her lips while holding the hand of her partner of 26 years, Sharyn Hedges   A devastating loss for so many friends and family from coast to coast, and Canada to the Gulf.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Donald Cupps and Esther Wideman; aunt, Marjorie Jackson.  Survived by her devoted partner and spouse, Sharyn Hedges; sister, Julene Martin Morganelli in Florida; niece, Sophia Martin; nephew, Nicholas Martin both in Philadelphia, PA.; aunt, June Davis in South Carolina; her closest friend, Lois Jewell in New York; and many cousins and countless other close and dear friends across the country.

Julia was born in Battle Creek, Michigan on March 28,1956.  She was fortunate to have lived in many states across the country.  She spent 18 years in Los Angeles before moving to Omaha 26 years ago with her stunning white Arabian stallion, Jackson.

During her remarkable life, she was a singer / musician. Julia toured the country with the Heritage Singers, and as a member of the group she sang Soprano and had “the voice of an angel”.  In LA she made herself available and was asked to sing at countless weddings, services and gravesides, making their ceremonies very memorable.  In Omaha, she sang with the Omaha Symphony Chorus and performed several solos for special occasions, while also singing for funeral services, Catholic Masses and at graveside.  She also sang the National Anthem before baseball games at the old Rosenblatt Stadium next door to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo.

Julia’s joy in life was her horse, Jackson.  Known lovingly as Jack and Jill,  she rode him everyday and made sure he received only the very best care.  In LA, she would ride Jack through Griffith Park up to Griffith Observatory where children would gather around to admire and pet Jack.   In Omaha, Jill would ride him around the coliseum arena (flag waving) at the yearly Ak-Sar-Ben Rodeo.  And she would ride him around Elmwood Park where children would run up to them to get close to Jack (amazed to see such a beautiful, gleaming white stallion suddenly appear in the park) with an equally stunning lady riding him.  She had so much fun with him.

Julia’s other interests included gardening, both outside and inside our home; having 8 cats and 2 Chihuahuas at one time (so much fun); an avid photographer of everything NATURE (wildlife, insects, flowers, scenery, etc) — her photographs always beautiful, eye-catching, and at times intricate; an extraordinary cook — she knew an enormous amount about healthy nutrition.  During the last 3 years of her multi-faceted life, she became fascinated and concerned with the fate of the Monarch butterfly and as a result, she raised multitudes of Monarch eggs to adult Monarch butterflies releasing them from our deck to continue their journey either to Canada or to Mexico depending on the time of year.  It was very time-consuming and hard work but she absolutely loved it and was known in Omaha as “the Butterfly Lady”.

This was just a brief telling of her amazing life which, needless to say, was a life well lived, a very interesting and varied life.  She is loved and will be missed by so many.  The lucky few who knew her best are aware that Jill was the kind of memorable person who only comes into our lives but once.  Rest in Peace dear Julia.

Per Julia’s wishes, there will be No Wake or Service following her cremation.  Her private burial will transpire at a later undetermined date at Calvary Cemetery in Omaha.NE.


  • Jane Hedges Posted February 2, 2024 3:52 pm

    Too many loses in a short time. My condolences.

  • Bunny Estrera Posted February 2, 2024 4:14 pm

    RIP Jill. You are missed. Thank you for your 32+ years of friendship.. You will be remembered with love and appreciation.

  • Lois Jewell and Doug Korves Posted February 2, 2024 4:27 pm

    Jill was something of a lover AND a fighter, in the last few years,
    especially for monarchs and birds and Sherri’s squirrels. Of course there were years of dogs and cats before that, v and Jack! As a fighter, she did everything possible to beat the cancer that finally ended her struggles. I met her when I was 8 and she was 3. I got to look after her, particularly at services where her parents were in some leading capacity. We reconcted again half a dozen years ago. ‘From then on, we communicated usually many times a day, for which I am thankful. I’m more thankful that she had Sherri to love and share life and death so beautifully. Love you Jill, and love you Sherri and Julene.

  • David Jewell Posted February 2, 2024 5:33 pm

    Our families were friends in Ann Arbor. Sail on!

  • Julene Martin-Morganelli Posted February 2, 2024 7:04 pm

    Dear Sharyn, Sending condolences and all my love to you Sharyn and to all of our family. My little sister, Julia Jill, was indeed an amazing and talented woman. Each day I miss our phone chats and long conversations with each other, and so much more. With all my gratitude for you Sharyn, for your devotion to Jill, and with all my affection, Julene Martin-Morganelli

  • Douglas F Korves Posted February 2, 2024 8:27 pm

    I only met Jill over the last few years listening and sometimes participating in wonderful calls spanning all of life with my wife Lois Jewell. Jill’s life was one of wonder and fantasy from her beautiful voice, to horses, butterflies, plants, and natural diets and supplements to life. Jill’s quest was not so much to stop her sickness, but a quest to experience and participate and share more with us. She simply did not wish to go quietly into that dark night. She did not and never will. She will be there in every bird at the feeder or butterfly on that beautiful
    flower in every garden and wayside.


  • Julene Martin-Morganelli Posted February 4, 2024 8:14 am

    For Julia: Memories abound for my delightful butterfly, lady, sister, Julia Jill.

    Dear Sharyn, Jill is with us on the wings of butterflies and the sun and moon rising beauty, and the voice of song.

    “Do not stand by my grave, and weep. I am not there, I do not sleep – I am the thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints of snow, I am the sunlight on ripen grain, I am the gentle, autumn, rain. as you awake with mornings hush, I am the swift, up-flinging rush of quiet birds on circling flight, I am the day transcending night. Do not stand by my grave, and cry – I am not there, I did not die.” —1934 Clare Harner

    Condolences with love, Julene

  • Kyra Hill Posted February 9, 2024 8:56 am

    My condolences to All who knew sweet Julia. I got the pleasure of meeting her as her neighbor,,watering her plants under the tree that we share.. We got to talking and hit it it off right away,,she told me stories of her adored white stallion Jackson. She also told me stories of her awesome memories of meeting many celebrities. One of which is my favorite, Julia Roberts. It made it easy to remember sweet Julia’s name. We shared many, many memories in the yard, talking about plants and flowers, and her beloved joy of raising monarch butterflies. After her telling me how she raised them and how to look for the eggs on the milkweed leaves I always looked for eggs there afterwards hoping I would find eggs on the leaves to take to Julia . She was one of the kindest humans I’ve ever met. She will fly with the butterflies free of any pain. Sherri my heart breaks for you lmk if you ever need anything ok.

  • Kathleen L Williams Posted February 12, 2024 3:02 pm

    I met Julia when she lived in Ann Arbor, MI with her mom and dad and sister. I knew that she was an accomplished singer with the Heritage Singer’s. I would love to have seen her preform with them . I well remember her mom playing the organ at the Ann Arbor church. We bought there house from them when they moved away. I have thought of them often over the years. I was pleased when she got in touch with my sister, Lois , and was sadden to hear that she struggled with cancer. My heart goes out to those who loved her and have lost her. 💔

  • Methodist Infusion Center Posted February 16, 2024 4:06 pm

    We are so sad to hear about Julia’s passing. Wow! What an exciting life she had. We loved seeing pictures of the butterflies and hearing the story of how she was saving them. What an incredible lady. Thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones.

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