Cover photo for Sara Hughes's Obituary
Sara Hughes Profile Photo

Sara Hughes

January 21, 1985 — January 13, 2023

Athens, GA – On the morning of Friday, January 13, 2023, Sara Hughes, 37, finished her earthly race and crossed the finish line and entered her new heavenly home.

Sara was born on January 21, 1985, in Athens, Georgia to her beloved parents, Ashley and Helen Murrell Hughes. She was preceded in death by her uncle, Phil Hughes.

Sara attended and graduated from Houston County High School in 2003. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Georgia in 2007 and a Pharm.D. degree from the UGA College of Pharmacy in 2011. After graduating from Pharmacy school, she worked in her hometown at Houston Healthcare in Warner Robins. In 2012, she left Georgia and obtained a staff pharmacist position at New York Presbyterian Hospital, where she honed her skills with a NICU concentration. In 2016, she returned to her Georgia home, and worked as the NICU Clinical Pharmacist at Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital. She embraced her NICU world and received awards for her pharmaceutical skills.

Sara enjoyed challenging herself and was extremely goal oriented. There wasn’t anything she couldn’t run or climb or hike or swim. Marathons, triathlons, training, hiking extreme terrain, and pushing herself to the limit were part of her DNA. Unfortunately, her stamina and abilities diminished when she was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Lung Cancer in 2018. Sara fought the “Cancer battle” valiantly and believed that God was faithful, in control, and good even in times when we don’t understand.

The family will always be grateful for the professional and attentive care that Sara received as a patient at M D Anderson in Houston, Texas. Dr. Vincent Lam, Dr. Tina Cascone, Dr. Quynh-Nhu Nguyen, and Dr. Barbara O’Brien and their staffs worked tirelessly to control her aggressive cancer. They were caregivers but also became a part of our family as they wanted to provide Sara with the newest and most innovative treatments in their oncology world.

Sara will be remembered as a sweet and loving daughter, protective and mentoring sister, conscientious and loyal pharmacist and co-worker, avid sports and exercise enthusiast, loyal and fun-loving friend, adventure seeking and wanderlust travel companion, and a UGA Double Degree Dawg Fan.

Her memory will forever be treasured by her parents; brother, Matthew Hughes (Amanda King) of Atlanta; aunts, Phoebe Hughes of Athens, and Linda Pittman of Lula; uncle, Gavin Murrell of California; cousins, Shane Pittman of Atlanta, Apryl Stanfill of Athens, Thanaya Scott of California, Michelle Willbanks of Texas, Trent Murrell Heidenheimer of California, and most importantly her beloved dog, Minnie.

Visitation with Sara’s family will be Monday, January 16, 2023, from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. at Central Baptist Church. The memorial service celebrating her life will follow at 2:00 p.m. with Dr. Owen Bozeman officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully suggests memorial donations be given in memory of Sara Hughes to MD Anderson Cancer Center at or the Spike Squad Booster Club at

For friends unable to attend at this time, the service will be streamed live via the McCullough Funeral Home Facebook page at

Go to to sign the Online Registry for the family. McCullough Funeral Home and Crematory has the privilege of being entrusted with these arrangements.

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

Service Schedule

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Monday, January 16, 2023

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Monday, January 16, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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