April 4, 1942 – December 16, 2020
On December 16, 2020, Stephany Ann Brown Hughes, Ph.D., passed away at her home in Excelsior Springs, Mo., from complications related to Parkinson’s. She was 78.
Stephany was born in Liberal, Kans., to Glenn and Mildred (Banie) Brown. She graduated from Liberal High School in 1960 and Southwestern College in Winfield, Kans., in 1964.
Stephany moved to Kansas City soon after college and began her teaching career. She married Douglas R. Hughes in 1966. They eventually moved to western Shawnee where they raised their three children, Blake, Trent and Ashley.
For decades Stephany was an educator focused on gifted and talented students, primarily in the Blue Valley School District. In the 1980s, she founded The Mentor Ship, a mail-order distributor of educational materials, and was co-owner of The Thinker Bookstore in Overland Park.
Continuing her own education, she went on to earn her M.S. in Educational Psychology and her Ph. D. in Psychology in Research and Education from the University of Kansas.
Later in life, after moving to Excelsior Springs, she became active in Optimists, Poetry Café and volunteered at a local elementary school. She was named Volunteer of the Year by Excelsior Springs Chamber of Commerce in 2014. She self-published a book, “Mother as Emotional Coach,” in 2014.
Stephany was a member of organizations including National Educators Association, National Association of Gifted Children, Kansas Association for Gifted, Talented and Creative, and PEO. She volunteered with organizations including Global Volunteers and the Red Cross.
Stephany traveled frequently to California to spend time with her kids and grandkids, spending weeks over holidays and summers, amassing treasured memories at their homes or during trips to the coast or Lake Tahoe. Frequent phone and video calls bridged the gaps.
She had a lifetime of adventures with different groups of treasured friends, traveling in the U.S. and internationally, or getting together locally. She cherished these friendships and their decades of fun gatherings.
Her lifelong hobbies included golf, tennis, horseback riding, traveling and writing. Above all perhaps, she was a super fan of Kansas Jayhawk basketball and the Kansas City Chiefs.
She is survived by special friend, John Hill; daughter, Ashley; son, Blake, daughter-in-law, Tanya and their children, Jack, Aaron and Sarah; her brother, Michael; and numerous beloved extended family members.
She is preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Courtney and Booth; and son, Trent.
We hope she is remembered with a laugh or a smile as we reflect on her love of life, family, friends and adventure.
There will be a celebration of her life in Kansas City as soon as it is safe to gather. Donations in her honor can be made to the Kansas University Endowment Association for the benefit of the J. Trenton Hughes Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Arrangements in care of Bross & Spidle Funeral Home, Excelsior Springs.
Our Sincere Condolences
To all, I know we will all miss her but please let us all keep in touch.
We will miss dear Stephany. We taught English with her and John in Cuba and the memories of her sweet nature and laughter are always with us.
Lee and Robert Bruno
Stephany — whom I only called Mrs Hughes as one of her Blue Valley North students (88-92) — was a wonderful teacher and friend to me in high school. High school was a terribly difficult time for me but she gave me crucial life wisdom, almost an orientation to make my own, that has shaped my life till today. She was the epitome of a caring, intellectually-inspiring teacher. I’m very sorry to hear of her passing and your family’s loss.
I knew Stephany (and John) later in her life in Excelsior Springs. She was an amazing person! I have thought about her often and will continue to do so. I am glad she is finally at peace.
John, we are so very sorry for your loss. She was a wonderful, talented, kind person who will be greatly missed by many.
Kat & Eric Brintzinghoffer