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  • Writer's pictureMary Kay Menees

Amici Ad Astra: Mary Kay Menees

Mary Kay Menees passed away peacefully on April 26, 2019. Mary Kay Hardesty was born July 18, 1921, to T.O. Hardesty, M.D. and Katherine (Killam) Hardesty, in

Jacksonville, Illinois, where she later graduated from McMurry College. After college, she married Charles Menees of Virginia, Illinois in 1943, and the couple moved to St.Louis. They lived on Art Hill Place, adjacent to the St. Louis Zoo, and then had homes in University City and Kirkwood. Mary Kay had three children, Nancy Katherine, Charles Hardy, and Marcia Anne, born between 1945 and 1955.


Around 1960, Mary Kay returned to Webster College to become a teacher. She was aFaculty member of Central then Conway Elementary Schools in Ladue from 1962 until retirement in 1984. She was a third-grade teacher and loved to teach children to read!During child-rearing years, Charlie Menees worked at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as a feature writer, columnist and music critic, and then for the McDonnell Douglas Air Scoopas editor of this newspaper. In retirement, Cactus Charlie started his beloved jazzprograms on Saturday nights on KWMU and then KMOX radio with his last showentitled: Jazz Under the Arch. His car license plate was Dr. Jazz while Mary Kay's carplate became Saint Jazz. Mary Kay accompanied her husband most Saturday nights andsat by his side during broadcasts.


In retirement, Mary Kay became a community volunteer at First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, a storyteller with St. Louis Gateway Storytellers, and a tutor at Reading is Fundamental (RIF) for 36 years. She was also active at the Kirkwood Library, Toastmasters, and participated in several book clubs and bridge groups. Mary Kay is survived by her three children, Nancy Menees Hardesty (John Parker), Hardy Menees (Kathy Menees), Marcia Menees Kessel (Brian Kessel). She is also survived by her grandchildren, Bob Menees (Susanna Menees), Annie Menees (Hon. Joseph L. Goff, Jr.), Evan Hardesty Parker (Cailin Parker), Bonnie Kessel Gregg (Jack Gregg), and Sarah Kessel. Additionally, her great-grandchildren are Sage and Alice Menees, Gracie Goff, and Emerson and Ellis Parker. Mary Kay's family would like to extend its heartfelt thanks to the staff at Evelyn's House and St. Luke's Hospital for the compassionate care they provided.


(Text from Mary Kay's obituary)

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