Aaron and I were introduced by a mutual friend and it was love at first sight. We enjoyed 42 wonderful years together.
Aaron volunteered for Army service during World War II. He was just out of high school. As a touch typist, his skills were used here and in the European theater. He needed glasses and the Army insisted on providing regulation Army glasses. They probably saved his life because they didn't arrive in time for him to leave with his buddies to participate in the D-Day invasion of Europe, which took the lives of so many.
Under the GI Bill of Rights, he studied at Rutgers University, receiving his Bachelor of Science in History of Education, His Master of Science in Social Philosophical Historical foundations of Education in 1954, and his doctor of Education in Social Bases of Education in 1972.
He was a successful and well-loved Professor of History and Education at Monmouth University in New Jersey for 29 years. He was most interested in utopias and read about and investigated utopian societies.
Aaron always championed the less fortunate making sure their voices were heard. He actively participated in fighting for civil rights for all. He played the guitar and in a fine voice sang folk songs.
A gifted puppeteer, Aaron delighted audiences of all ages with his hand-crafted marionettes and puppets.
We bought a travel trailer and a Chevy Suburban to pull it and made 5 round trips from New Jersey to California where we visited our children and grandchildren.
In those days you could get a Trip Tik from AAA with maps of the chosen route and on the back were suggestions of places of interest and things to see and learn about. How lucky we were to see our beautiful United States from East to West and North to South. We varied our route on each trip so we could stop and visit friends and relatives.
Aaron read two newspapers every morning at home then would sit at his computer and create a daily essay "Thinking Allowed" which was emailed to hundreds of friends and relatives. The list kept growing as we traveled.
He was a sketcher of people's left profile. When we cruised, which we both loved, he brought many sketch pads and put up a sign “Portraits exchanged for interesting conversation “. Many people left their Voyage with a personal sketch as a souvenir of a pleasant trip.
Aaron was a true gentleman who always held a door for others insisting that they go ahead of him. He always held the car door for me.
Aaron had a fine sense of humor which often came out in his remarks at Torah study every Saturday morning at Temple Sinai. He loved singing and enjoyed participating with the Temple choir.
He was ahead of his years; bumping elbows instead of shaking hands before it became the thing to do.
In the last 10 months, we had a wonderful aide Rosarion, who helped Aaron. He drove us to appointments and to Aaron's favorite restaurants for lunch. When Rosarion completed a slow steady left-turn Aaron always said "Nicely Done."
Aaron Schectman was a kind, creative gentleman and he will be missed.
Nicely Done Aaron!