Linda Maree Hight Hughes, the third daughter of Wallace Earl Hight and Shirley Anne Olson, was born on June 29, 1947, in Chico, California. Linda lived big and brought so much joy and happiness into the lives of her family and so many close friends. After struggling with multiple health challenges for the past three years, Linda passed away peacefully at her home in Bountiful, Utah on January 15, 2024, at the age of 76. She was an exceptional individual, who was loved greatly, and certainly will be sorely missed.
Linda married her high school sweetheart, Clifford Paul Hughes, shortly after they graduated from Davis High School in June of 1965. Their first few months together were like a scene from a fairytale romance. Linda would often describe their first summer together as "bliss", where they lived in a remote cabin in Lincoln, Montana, while Paul worked as a logger to save money for college. They would soon be blessed with the birth of their son, Clifford Adam Hughes. However, life would quickly be turned upside down when Paul was tragically killed in a car accident while returning from a Weber State College debate tournament in April of 1966. It’s incomprehensible to fathom the shock to this young bride, now a widow and a single mother of an infant before her first wedding anniversary. Paul and Linda's marriage would later become eternal, as she was sealed to Paul in the Salt Lake Temple on May 18, 1967.
Linda was also married to Francis Laddie Swaner (father to Chris) from 1968-1974, Robert Dean Bennett (father to Bobbi, Ben, and Christina) from 1976-1988, and Mark Wangsgard from 1989-2016. Each of these honorable men brought their own unique talents and personalities into her life and provided love and companionship. Some men are called dad, some father, and others simply by their first name. Words are completely inadequate to describe the impact these men had and continue to have on those they call their children.
Linda would spend most of her early childhood and schooling experience in Chico, California, but also spent time in Provo, Utah and Sacramento, California as her father attended college and secured his first accounting job. Her family would then move to Farmington, Utah in 1961 where she would spend a majority of her adult life and where she would raise her children. It was also where she would connect to so many lifelong friends. Later she would also live in Granger, Bountiful, North Ogden, and Salt Lake City Utah; as well as Lincoln, Montana; Paradise, California; and Henderson, Nevada.
Linda was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and had a firm testimony of her Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ. Her church service included: leading Cub Scouts, being a ward missionary, serving as a counselor in the Relief Society, and of course being an activities planner. She often visited those who were struggling, who had lost their way. In her own unique way, she would connect and serve each one individually, where her greatest gift might have been a shoulder to lean on.
After graduating from Davis High School, Linda attended both LDS Business College and Weber State University. Returning to school after raising children, Linda became an honors student at WSU and went on to complete her associate degree in 1989. Office skills developed at LDS Business college led to several successful employment opportunities where she served as an administrative assistant to top-level executives. Her organizational and typing skills were exceptional, and she quickly became a critical team member. She often bragged that she could type 90 words per minute on a manual typewriter without making a single error.
When re-entering the workforce later in life, Linda discovered that her exceptional communication skills could lead to success in sales. Working in several positions over her career, she would quickly become the top salesperson and cause companies to reevaluate their sales commission programs. She earned every bonus, incentive, and perk available. At the tail end of her career she and her family turned their youngest daughter's need for a wedding into a small wedding business which they ran for 3 years. Linda was an extremely hard worker and a force of nature when she was seeking to support her family.
Being from a musically inclined family, Linda from an early age began performing in public. With two of her sisters, Karen and Candy, she sang in schools, at community events, in roadshows, and on local TV talent shows. In High School she continued with music and ended up with a lead role in the Davis High musical, "The Sound of Music". She also participated in several school talent shows and in the student organization, Pro Scola.
Linda had a great voice, but her clear strength was an uncanny ability to create her own harmony parts, where she complemented the melody beautifully. She was also a gifted song writer, where she composed both lyrics and guitar accompaniments, which she would then sing at funerals, church services, community functions, and most importantly to her children. Her songs will forever fill the homes of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren with her love and connection.
Linda was often asked to direct and organize community shows and organized large functions. One of her favorite experiences was organizing the Miss Farmington pageant. But she was best known for writing and directing original live musical productions. She would write the script, develop the lyrics, then enroll the most unlikely cast members to put on an epic and meaningful production.
Linda was very athletic and a fierce competitor. Before injuring her back and neck she frequently played on organized women and co-ed softball, volleyball, and bowling teams. She also enjoyed fishing, camping, water and snow skiing, dancing, and driving sports cars. Though limited physically for a good portion of her adult life, Linda lived big, was always pushing the limits of her ability to create fun for herself and everyone around her.
Preceded in death:
Linda was preceded in death by her husband, Clifford Paul Hughes; her father, Wallace Earl Hight; her mother, Shirley Anne Olson; her sisters Sharon Hight and Candice Christine Hight Dobbs; her brother, Gary Hight; her son Clifford Adam Hughes; and her grandson Adam Jeremy Hughes.
Linda is survived by her sisters, Karen Hight Wilson and Shelley Hight Olsen; her sons Francis Christopher Swaner and Benjamin Jeremiah Bennett; her daughters Bobbi Maree Bennett and Christina Dawn Bennett; 12 grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren.
Arrangements entrusted to Lindquist’s Layton Mortuary, 1867 No. Fairfield Rd., Layton, Utah.