David Aronson
1929 - 2019
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David Lewis Aronson died at his home in Bethesda, MD, November 1, 2019, after a long illness. He leaves his beloved wife of 40 years, Doris Menache Aronson, and his four children and their families. David was born July 6, 1929, in Wayne, PA, where he lived with his parents, Joseph D. and Charlotte Ferguson Aronson, and his brothers, Joseph and John (Jeff). They all pre-deceased him. He attended the Radnor Township Public Schools. When he was six, he traveled with his family to Wyoming for the first time. That trip led to a lifelong love of the Wind River Valley region. David also fell in love with flying after taking a ride in an airplane as a youngster at a barnstorming event. As a young man he earned his pilot’s license and would take friends and family on day trips in his Cessna along the eastern seaboard, including Kitty Hawk, NC. David also was an Eagle Scout. In 1951, he received his bachelor’s degree in biophysics from Yale University. After college, at his mother’s instigation, he traveled to Austria with the Society of Friends to help in war re-building efforts in a small village. His mother helped orchestrate many of David’s best early experiences, he often would say. Thanks to her, he went to Austria, he got his first, life-changing job at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and he went to Wyoming (after his mother bought a car, learned how to drive, and drove them there). After he retired, David transcribed and published his mother’s collected letters from her time in Greece as a young woman in the 1920s. The book, which he titled Odyssey of a Learning Teacher, was his tribute to his remarkable mother. David attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where he earned the Priestly award for student research. He graduated in 1956 and then served an internship at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass. He also had two summer research fellowships at the Department of Radiotherapy at Cambridge University in England. In 1957, David moved to Washington, DC, and joined the Public Health Service. In 1958, he began working at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Division of Biologics Standards, which later became the Office of Biologics Research and Review within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There he worked for almost 30 years. His work was split between lab research and regulatory activity. His research focused on the control of blood coagulation. He published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles, many of them with his wife, Doris. His regulatory work involved the standardization, regulation and licensing of products developed for the treatment of bleeding disorders. In 1980 he was awarded the Public Health Service Meritorious Service Medal. Upon leaving the FDA, David served as a consultant to the World Health Organization, as well as to approximately 30 companies involved in making blood products to help patients with hemophilia. He consulted about technical and regulatory issues in biologics and pharmaceuticals, including drug development. In 1987 he was given an award by several of these companies for his “part in revolutionizing hemophilia therapy.” David was a founding member of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) and served as the chair of its Scientific and Standardization Committee from 1992-1994. In 2009 he received the Roberts Award for Distinguished Service from the SSC. David married the late Margaret Field Aronson in 1957. They divorced in 1977. They had four children, Judith Field Aronson of Galveston, TX; Deborah Leah Aronson of Urbana, IL, (and her spouse, Ben Williams); Benjamin David Aronson of Riverside, CA (and his spouse, Patricia Springer); and John Ferguson Aronson of Seattle, WA, (and his spouse, Marta Lowe). David married Doris Menache in 1977. She survives him. Together, David and Doris traveled internationally for both work and pleasure, in Europe, Asia, Central America, northern Africa, Australia and all over the United States. One of their favorite trips, which they took 13 times, was to Belize, where they especially enjoyed the exotic birds. When he and Doris weren’t traveling, David loved sitting on his back porch in Bethesda, MD, drinking coffee, eating chocolate and visiting with his friends and neighbors. The family would like to express their deep gratitude to those friends and neighbors, as well as JSSA Hospice and the Bethesda Metro Area Village, for all their help, love and support. In addition to his wife and his children, David is survived by his four grandchildren, Claire and Doug Williams and Laurel and Lily Lowe Aronson. Contributions in David’s memory may be made to the Native American College Fund (collegefund.org), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (whoi.org), or USA for UNHCR (https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/). A memorial will be held in the spring when the azaleas in David and Doris’s backyard are in full bloom.

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Published in Main Line Media News from Nov. 15 to Nov. 24, 2019.
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November 17, 2019
My deepest sympathy to the family of David Aronson. May you be comforted in knowing that our Heavenly Father cares for you. He will give you strength and courage to cope with your grief. Psalm 94:17-19
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