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Dr Oris Aaron

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Dr Oris Aaron

  • Birth 9 Nov 1909 Adair County, Kentucky, USA
  • Death 6 Jan 1995 Columbia, Adair County, Kentucky, USA
  • Burial Ozark, Adair County, Kentucky, USA
  • Memorial ID 53928874

Dr. Oris Aaron, Adair County's most dominant figure in the medical community for four decades and the patriarch of one of the state's outstanding medical families, died Friday, January 6, 1995 at Westlake Cumberland Hospital. He had celebrated his 85th birthday on November 9, 1994. While recognized by both his patients and his peers as an outstanding general surgeon and doctor, Dr. Oris Aaron's influence and concern about health care in Adair County and rural Kentucky went far beyond the operating room.

After working at Adair Memorial Hospital for a number of years and serving as chairman of its board of trustees, he was the driving force behind the move to build Westlake Cumberland Hospital. Along with his sons, Drs. Phil and Steve Aaron and daughter-in-law, Dr. Jann Aaron, he was co-founder of Aaron Medical Center, which in 1985 was named the "Outstanding Rural Medical Practice" in the United States by the National Rural Health Association.

In 1982, he and Dr. Phil Aaron co-founded the Primary Care Center of Adair County, which later became Westlake Primary Care. Dr. Aaron devoted his entire life to the effort of providing the best medical care to the poor in rural areas, and was a long-time proponent of preventive medicine. He provided health care to whomever needed it, regardless of whether or not they could pay for it. Countless thousands of people received his best efforts tor free. "We've got the best medical care in the world, but it reaches far too few people," Dr. Aaron said in an interview last year, explaining his continued commitment to treating the indigent. "We've got a moral responsibility to provide services to all people who need them."

Very few physicians anywhere could claim the loyalty and support that Dr. Aaron received from his patients. The long lines of former patients who came to pay their respects at the funeral home attested to this. Dr. Aaron spent six years as a teacher and coach in the Kentucky public school system before embarking on his medical career. He received his undergraduate degree from Eastern Kentucky State College (now University) in 1935. In 1939, he received his M.D. from the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and immediately did two years of university hospital residency training. Dr. Aaron then spent six years in general and family practice, followed by six years of postgraduate training.

In 1949, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Medicine. He returned to his native Adair County to open his medical/surgical practice, and, although he ceased doing surgical procedures a few years ago, he continued to see patients on a regular basis until April of last year, when he retired at the age of 84. Strong-willed, very opinionated and often controversial, Dr. Aaron never sidestepped issues he considered important to the people of Adair County. If it bettered the lives of the people around him, he supported it. Rev. Paul Keneipp, who along with Father George Bowling, conducted the funeral service Monday morning, said, "When God made Oris Aaron, he threw away the mold. He was uniquely unique."


Dr. Oris Aaron, of 206 Jamestown Street, Columbia, died Friday, Jan 6, 1995, at Westlake Cumberland Hospital. He was 85. He was the son of the late William George and Hannah Susan Young Aaron of Adair County.

He is survived by his wife, Jessie Reeves Aaron; two sons, Dr. William Stephen Aaron and Dr. Phillip Reeves Aaron, both of Louisville; two daughters, Jane Caroline Aaron of Houston, TX and Dr. Martha Susan Remek, Chicago; two grandsons, Trent Aaron and Stan Snyder of Louisville; two granddaughters, Sarah Aaron of Middletown, CT, and Jessica Snyder of Harrisonburg, VA; one brother, Dr. Louis Aaron of Columbia; and two sisters, Maxine Antle of Russell Springs and Mary Ellen Wilkinson of Glensfork.

Funeral services were held Monday, Jan 9, 1995 at 10 a.m. at Grissom Funeral Home with Father George Bowling and Rev. Paul Keneipp officiating. In accordance with his wishes, the body was donated to the University of Louisville School of Medicine. The family requests that expressions of sympathy take the form of gifts to Lindsey Wilson College.

(The Adair Progress, Jan 12, 1995)

Family Members





  • Created by: BC
  • Added: 20 Jun 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 53928874
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Dr Oris Aaron (9 Nov 1909–6 Jan 1995), Find A Grave Memorial no. 53928874, citing Reeves Family Cemetery, Ozark, Adair County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by BC (contributor 47306211) .