Cover photo for Kelly Hughes's Obituary
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1963 Kelly 2023

Kelly Hughes

August 25, 1963 — May 24, 2023


Kelly Ann Hughes of White, Georgia and Milton, Vermont passed away on May 24th at her home and with her Georgia family close by.  Born on August 25, 1963 in Morristown, New Jersey, she arrived early and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.  Knowing the road ahead for her, her parents Philip and Carole Ann Hughes, gave her the name Kelly because it means fighter.  Although her parents were told she would likely never walk, Kelly defied the odds through hard work and with the love of her devoted parents and support of her family.  Kelly lived a life defined by her name and not her disability.  She was an advocate, educator, entrepreneur, friend, aunt, niece, sister, beloved daughter, fierce defender of children, and voracious reader.  


A 1981 graduate of Walton High School in Marietta, Georgia she went on to get her undergraduate degree from Trinity College in Burlington, Vermont and a master’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University.  In addition to her degrees, Kelly was also the proud holder of a legal driver’s license (mistakenly issued by the state instead of an ID card) despite driving being one of the few things she never quite mastered (much to the chagrin of her father and the front of his Chevy Blazer).  


Her own experiences led her to work as an educator and advocate in the Milton Town School District for years, largely with children with disabilities.  Her passion for education and love of children was continued while she worked for Pal’s Daycare and the Milton Family Community Center.  She was also the proud proprietor of Kelly’s Corner Book Exchange where, although there were used books of all varieties, you could find an outstanding collection of her favorite genre - smutty romance novels.  


Kelly could almost always be found with a book in her hands (and thankfully they almost always had book covers to shield delicate viewers from the scantily clad men on horseback or some other nonsense).  A lifelong lover of Barry Manilow and a Fanilow to the end, she asked to listen to his music in her last couple of days.  Despite her weakness and how sick she was, the disease never took her spirit or (often dark) sense of humor - she asked to listen to anything but “Looks Like We Made It”.        


Kelly is survived by her brother Chris, his wife Lindsay and their daughters Natalie and Emily of White, Georgia.  Her brother Bobby and his wife Sydney of Rydal, Georgia and their children P.J. (wife Haley and children Atlas and Blakely) and Katie.  Her brother Jon and wife Tracy and their children Jonah, Drew, and Josie of Milton, Vermont.  She is also survived by her Uncle Tommy, Aunt Rene, Uncle Artie and many loving cousins.   Kelly and her family were especially grateful to the family members who trekked to Georgia (or planned to visit) and all the calls and messages of support.  She loved each one and they meant the world to her.  She was predeceased by her mother and father, Aunt Veronica, Uncle David and Aunt Liz, and her grandparents.    


After receiving the Sacraments of the Church, and accepting that her fight was coming to a close, Kelly shared with her brother Chris that she looked forward to “seeing mom and dad and being able to run”.  She passed in her sleep and woke up being able to run into her parents’ arms.     


A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Ann Church, Milton, Vermont on Friday, June 23rd at 11:00 AM with a reception to follow in the church hall.  


Kelly will be laid to rest with her parents in St. Ann’s Cemetery in Milton at a later date.  


In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to an organization loved by Kelly:

Milton Family Community Center

23 Villemaire Lane

Milton, VT 05468

To order memorial trees in memory of Kelly Hughes, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

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Friday, June 23, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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