Ann Molaris Profile Photo
1928 Anastasia 2023

Ann Molaris

May 16, 1928 — July 5, 2023


Anastasia “Ann” Molaris, 95, of Missoula, passed away at home of natural causes on July 5, 2023.
She was born the youngest of four on May 16,1928 in Burlington, VT to Thomas and Blanche Counos.  As a girl, she lived mostly in Burlington and St. Albans, VT where her family owned and ran the Blue Lion Grille.  She loved sports and theater.  

After graduating public high school from Bellows Free Academy in 1946, she and her friend worked as nurse’s aides at a residential health resort in Connecticut, which inspired her to earn her RN diploma at St Luke’s Columbia School of Nursing in New York City in 1951.  While in Nurse’s training she fell in love with Basil “Bill” Molaris, a native New Yorker also of immigrant parents.  They married on September 6, 1951 and worked as hospital nurses while putting Bill through graduate school in hospital administration.  Before starting a family, they enjoyed the theater and restaurants of Manhattan, as well as bicycle trips in New England. 

The family moved to Clifton, NJ in 1959 with their 2 toddlers and lived in the same home for 52 years, where Ann was a loving and attentive mother.  They took full advantage of their proximity to New York City museums and the Metropolitan Opera.  Ann worked as a private duty nurse until she retired in her early 50’s.  

Ann enthusiastically collected antiques and took much pleasure in her black lacquered “What Not Shelf”, caned bentwood rocker, bentwood hat rack and her gallery of antique framed mirrors.  She loved fashion, finding bargains and sewing her own clothes to make her unique and classy outfits. 

She kept her home state of Vermont in her heart, spending summers with her natal family at their “camp” on Lake Champlain, where they water skied and fished.  Each year she and Bill drove to the coast of Maine for their summer vacation without kids, then celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary near Acadia National Park.  Ann and Bill traveled extensively through the United States, driving all day and enjoying the scenery.  Never one to shrink from an adventure, she went white water rafting near Glacier National Park and rode on the top of the bus with the luggage on the twisty mountain roads of Equador to get a better view. While at her side for each thrilling moment, Bill said he didn’t need a sense of adventure as she had enough for them both.   In retirement they vacationed twice a year in Europe, including three trips to Greece to connect to their shared heritage.  Russia, China and the Galápagos Islands were also on the list of memorable trips.  One friend suggested a tour to several countries typically off the beaten path, but Ann stated she had “been there already”.

Ann and family moved to Missoula in 2012 to be closer to Susan, where they were embraced as a member of Susan’s extended family by marriage and greater community.  Unfortunately, Bill passed away that year, but Ann made a fun, fulfilling life for herself by playing bridge at the Senior Center, going to The Montana Club for 90% discounts with her birthday group, hiking Waterworks Hill to see the bitterroots, and socializing with family and friends.  Ann loved picnicking with a view from lookout towers to park benches on the Missoula hillsides.  Some of her favorite eateries were Tagliare Deli, The Soup Farm, Asahi and El Cazadore, where she extended her Greek palate to Mexican food.  One friend commented that Ann was the only one who liked Perkins for Sunday breakfast and The Pearl for dinner.  

A life-long health enthusiast, this petite woman went to the gym 5 days a week, hiked the M three years in a row around age 90, participated in the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study and remained informed by subscribing to many health newsletters.  She was a loving mother, fiercely loyal to her family and friends, who punctuated her life with an adventurous spirit and a hearty laugh.  Her greatest joy in recent years was the company of her devoted children, who shared many wonderful experiences. 

Survivors include her son David, Missoula; daughter Susan (Barry Dutton), Missoula; many nieces and nephews including Bill (Paulette) Criaris, Lewes, DE;  Faith Hitsous Touye, Surprise,AZ; Ginny Counos (Roman) Zaboronek, Blairstown/Ledgewood, NJ;  Bill (Vickie) Counos, St. Albans, VT;  Nancy Counos Wick, South Burlington, VT; Marjory Spencer Franklin, Arlington, VA ; Peter Spencer, Tucson, AZ; Judy Spencer Gurr, W Sacramento/Groveland, CA;  Ann Counos, Springfield, MA; Barbara Counos Verducci, Agawan, MA;  Thomas (Mary Kay) Counos, Sisters, OR; Chris (Clair) Counos, Port St. Lucie, FL.  Ann’s Montana in-laws who embraced her as their matriarch include Kathy Dutton (Richard Goldberg); Terry (Ken) Egan; Vicky (Doug) Wallace, Port Orange, FL; Jon Dutton, Vaughn, MT.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Missoula Senior Center.  At her request, Ann will be cremated without a memorial service. She and Bill are busy embarking on their last big road trip.

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


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