Aaron, Robert Jewish Community Leader
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Robert Hart Aaron, a long-time leader of the Orange County Jewish Community, died Monday (July 18) at his home in Laguna Woods, after a brief illness. He was 94. Services will be held Thursday at 12 Noon at Temple Beth Sholom, 2625 North Tustin Avenue, Santa Ana. Interment will follow at Harbor Lawn-Mount Olive Memorial Park in Costa Mesa at 2:00 P.M., followed by a gathering of family and friends at Temple Judea Laguna Hills, 24512 Moulton Parkway, Laguna Woods, at 3:00 P.M. A charter member of the Jewish Community Council, Robert Aaron became the third President of the renamed Jewish Federation of Orange County. He and his wife, Helen Gerber Aaron, were among the founders of the Orange County Jewish Historical Society. They had met as widower and widow at Temple Beth Sholom, where both served on the Board of Directors. Mrs. Aaron and her late husband, Harry Gerber, were among the Temple's earliest members, beginning in 1948. Volunteerism and commitment to Jewish causes were hallmarks of Bob and Helen Aaron's 45-year marriage. Few people in the Orange County Jewish community were as passionate and dedicated, resulting in frequent honors for their community service, fundraising, and leadership in Jewish affairs. They were also active supporters of the State of Israel. Born in San Francisco in 1910, Bob Aaron received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 1932. After establishing a company in Santa Monica, he and his partners sold the firm to the Townsend Company of Santa Ana in 1956. Bob and his late wife Bernice moved to Orange County, where Bob soon began a long career with the Rockwell Corporation. He was extremely proud of his role as a Contracts Manager on Space programs, including the Apollo XI, first mission to the Moon, and later the Space Shuttle. He retired from Rockwell in 1975. At his death, Robert Aaron was a member of the Board of Directors of the Leisure World Region of the Jewish Federation of Orange County, the B'nai Brith, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Stanford Alumni Association. He continued his service to the Orange County Jewish Historical Society, serving as its Treasurer. The Aarons were also avid travelers to Israel and other ports of call, and frequent supporters of Orange County theatre and musical events. Robert Aaron is survived by a large and loving family that respected his wisdom, his detailed recall of events decades into the past, his commitment to their well-being, and that of the community. They include his son, Larry Aaron of San Marcos, and Helen's children: Leah Gerber Sklar of Los Angeles; Michael Gerber of Petaluma, Ca.; Paul Gerber of San Francisco; Marsha Gerber Remas of Larkspur, Ca.; 14 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in Robert Aaron's name be made to the Jewish Federation of Orange County, 1 Federation Way, Suite 210, Irvine, CA 92603 or the Jeremiah Society, 4029 Westerly Place, Suite 101, Newport Beach, Ca. 92660.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on July 21, 2005