Cover photo for Samantha Hughes's Obituary
Samantha Hughes Profile Photo
1965 Samantha 2024

Samantha Hughes

May 3, 1965 — January 8, 2024




Samantha Shepherd Hughes

May 03, 1965 – January 08, 2024

Bountiful, UT


Our beautiful mother, spouse, sister, aunt, and friend Samantha Hughes, 58, returned to the loving arms of our Savior on January 08, 2024, after a courageous and hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer.  Samantha was born in Winston-Salem, NC to Jerry Allen Shepherd and Rae Dene Boyles Bost, progeny of a tempestuous union.


She was born into a blended family with parents of the 60’s free lifestyle, VW bug and all.  She endured a tumultuous childhood filled with constant fear of abuse, abandonment, frequent relocation, separation from her sisters through divorce, and enduring the perils of being bussed away from her home High School in Winston Salem desegregation.  In the depths of an unstable home life, she was rescued and saved by many who took her in as their own.  Her adoptive-in-spirit family of Heber and Barbara Key gave her three new siblings John, Ann, and sweet Ellen (Mike Smith). In college and lasting the rest of her life, she was blessed with even more unearthed family, rescued by Phyllis and Chip Wright and their two young daughters.  Samantha found strength in these wonderful, selfless families that could love a stranger as their own. 


She earned a degree in education from UNC-Wilmington, where she also joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After graduation, she crammed all her belongings in an old Honda sedan and drove across the country to start a different life as an elementary teacher in Utah, where she wanted to meet the man of her dreams.  For the rest of her life, she used her unique experiences and skills to shepherd (pun intended) children wherever she met them in education.  She somehow knew how to get a class full of unruly kids to listen and follow her instructions using love.  She earned a master’s degree in Education from Westminster College, and a Gifted Education Endorsement at the University of Utah.  Failing to find her forever man in Utah, she moved back to North Carolina, where she intended to find her bubba and earn a PhD at UNC in Education.  Plans changed quickly, as she met Matt shortly after both arrived in the Chapel Hill area, where they eventually dated, became engaged, and were married 9 months later. They moved to Atlanta to complete Matt’s training program, and then to the great metropolis of Pocatello, ID where Colin was born. 


One year later, Samantha and family moved to Katy, Texas where Ellie and Emma were born, thus fulfilling a dream of having “southern” babies.  Sam was an excellent mother, always tired, always selfless.  With her husband traveling frequently, she was not particularly happy when she was eating Kraft mac ‘n cheese while her husband sent home pictures of steak and lobster from his business meals. Truth be told, she would have chosen good mac ‘n cheese or greens over most other foods, because food was not that important to her.  When her family debated about eating out choices, she would usually express her motto, “Lord willing, it won’t be my last meal.” 


Samantha has always had to fight to survive, and she did no less in raising her children, fighting for what she believed to be right to give them the opportunities she never had.  On appearance some might have called her a helicopter parent, but in truth she was devoted to the safety and success of her family and giving every opportunity she never had.  She worked at home rather than continuing her career; she constantly volunteered and was active in mentoring.  Her last attainable goal in this life was to see all her children graduate from college, which she saw to fruition in December 2023.


Samantha is survived by her husband Matthew Hughes, son Colin Hughes, daughters Elizabeth Hughes and Emma Hughes, sister Dawn Bost, nephew and nieces, and her beloved pets Ruby, Gus, and Penny.  She is preceded in death by her father Jerry Allen Shepherd, mother Rae Dene B. Smith, and sister Mary Jilda (Jill) Bennett.


Funeral services for Samantha will be held on Friday, January 12, 2024, at 11 a.m. at the Mueller Park Stake Center, 1800 E. Mueller Park Road, Bountiful, UT.  Friends and family may visit with the family on Thursday, January 11th, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Lindquist’s Bountiful Mortuary at 727 N 400 E in Bountiful, UT.  There will also be a viewing prior to the funeral services on Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Stake Center. Interment will be at the Bountiful City Cemetery, Bountiful, UT. Services entrusted to Lindquist's Bountiful Mortuary.


Services will be live-streamed and may be viewed by scrolling to the bottom of Samantha’s obituary page.


In lieu of flowers, in honor of Samantha, who was always on the lookout to rescue a lost pet (there is that shepherd again), please send donations to a pet sanctuary or rescue of your choice. 








To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Samantha Hughes, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, January 11, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain time)

Lindquist's Bountiful Mortuary

727 N 400 E, Bountiful, UT 84010

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, January 12, 2024

9:30 - 10:30 am (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, January 12, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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