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Well Known Hazard Woman Dies

Ann Moore Medaris, 87, former manager of the Hazard Social Services office, died at her residence in Hazard on Friday.  Born on June 4th 1921, she attended Hazard High School and was valedictorian of her class.  She attended college at Transylvania University and went to work for the War Department in Washington after graduation.  Ann married Frank Medaris of Hazard in 1946 and they were married for 52 years at the time of his death.  She was a fulltime homemaker and mother until when she went to work for the state as a social worker in 1965.  She also worked at the Bluegrass Army Depot. 

Ann Medaris volunteered a substantial amount of time serving the American Red Cross, the Wilderness Road Counsel of the Girl Scouts of America, the Hazard Community Ministries, and the Hazard Perry County Performing Arts series.  She was also a tutor at Roy G. Eversole Elementary School.  Medaris was a troop leader of the Brownie and Girl Scouts of Hazard for seven years.  She was an avid sports fans following the Hazard Bulldogs, the University of Kentucky and the Cincinnati Reds

Survivors include two sons - Frank "Rookie" and Tommy Medaris of Hazard, one daughter -  Margarette Kerns of Louisville, and five grandchildren.

Ann Medaris was a contributor to HazardKentucky.com.  She shared her memories of the 1957 flood:

"I was married and living at Harveyton. First Creek is so high that it doesn't flood. I had been in town the day before and looking at the river remarked that if we had any more rain we would have a flood. Only a few times in my life have I heard rain like we had that night, and it reminded me of the '27 flood. The next morning, the only way we could get information was from WSAZ in Huntington. Frank took the truck and went to town and came back saying it was just awful. He had checked on my parents who lived on Baker Hill, but they were OK. They had been through these things before and  had the coal-oil lamps bought in '27. I still have one. I went to town the next day and when I came over Crawford Hill and saw the river valley, my thought was 'This is the land that God forgot.' EVERYTHING was covered with mud, the bridge to the airport was down, the power poles were bending or broken, the wires were just hanging. My Mother cooked breakfast every day at the Christian Church and I was over there some. The gas pressure was so low that cooking was very difficult, and it was a problem to find something to cook. One of the men drove down Troublesome and collected home-canned food for us. We kept power and water on First Creek, so my major contribution was to do the washing for friends--including diapers in those pre-Pampers days. On Friday there was a misty rain and I was really depressed driving back to First Creek, but when I crossed the Lotts Creek bridge, there were trucks as far as I could see, and they were all coming to help! Every imaginable kind of truck! It brought tears to my eyes. Does anyone want to reminisce about 1927?"  Ann Medaris, Hazard, KY

Medaris appreciated the unique flavors of Kentucky and shared her memories of a great restaurant that was located in Lexington.

“I have often thought that downtown Lexington started dying when the Canary Cottage closed. It was right in the middle of Main Street and you could drop in for a Coke or lunch or dinner. I first went there when I was an out-of-town high-schooler about 70 years ago, and continued my acquaintance while a student at Transy and, during the War, living in Lexington and working at the Signal Depot. It was the meeting place downtown. I have a menu someplace buried in a scrapbook. Heaven knows where. The menus had a place on the back where you could address it and it would be mailed.

The food was great. Filet of Sole $.35, Shore Dinner, $1.00. They had Hot Browns made with ham and turkey topped with a mushroom. The fried chicken came in a basket with a card saying ‘Pick it up, Sir, Pick it up, Ma’am, You are at home in the Canary Cottage.’

I don’t think we were very big on salads; they were presented on a tray and you could choose. Every entree came with vegetable and salad. Of course, you could get a chicken salad plate or tomato en surprise (tomato aspic with cottage cheese and olives). My favorite dessert was peppermint ice cream rolled in pecans with chocolate syrup.

The restrooms were labeled ‘fillies’ and ‘colts’ but too many out-of-staters didn’t understand, so the labels were changed to something more prosaic.

The service was excellent. The decor was subdued. There were about four rooms, so it was cozy, and the booths as you came in were highbacked and private. The bar was way back and had a door opening on the Phoenix Alley. If you wanted to place a bet, a bar-waiter would run it over to the Phoenix. ‘Fish’ Wheeler was the owner, and it was said he lost interest in the Cottage after his son was killed in a horrible wreck that took the lives of four other children of prominent families.”  Ann Medaris, Hazard, KY

I want to send my deepest sympathies to the Medaris family.  Mrs. Medaris had a long life in which she raised a very successful family, worked to help others, and had time to retire and enjoy her life.  It sounds like she lived a life that we all would do well to follow.  Danny R, Hazard, KY

I would like to express my deepest sympathies to Ann's family in their loss.  I will always cherish our friendship and neighborliness.  I was pleased to hear from Ann especially during the basketball tournaments.  She kept me informed of many happenings in the book club and of her passion in the Kentucky Wildcats.  She kept me in touch with my former home and the neighbors on Walnut Street.  She was one fine lady and she will be truly missed by me and my family.  Dorothy Pendleton, Houston, TX

Rookie: I am so sorry to read about your mother's passing. From what I read she was a true lady and one dedicated to many causes. I know she will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.  Greg Lemons, Jackson, KY

When I had cataract surgery a couple of years ago, Ann called and volunteered to take Joe and me anywhere we wanted to go, since I was unable to drive us for awhile.  Ann didn't wait to be asked if you needed help.  She was always the type of person that would do unknown things for others. Elizabeth S. Duncan, Hazard, KY

I lived next to the Medaris family, and was close for many, many years.  Ann, like most mom's on Baker Hill had all of the local kids in her home or yard on a regular basis.  She was a wonderful friend.  She will be greatly missed.  Chales Stamper  Morristown, TN

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