Leroy Donald Aaronson, M.D., formerly of Providence and Chatham, Mass., passed away peacefully on October 14, 2019 at Saint Elizabeth Home in East Greenwich, with his daughter Pamela by his side. He was 91. He was predeceased by his wife of 51 years, Barbara (Norden) Aaronson.
Dr. Aaronson was born in Providence in 1928. Early on he developed an ambition to become a physician. He started Brown University at the age of 16 and graduated in 1949. He then entered Albany Medical College, graduating in 1952. Following an internship at Rhode Island Hospital, where he met his future wife Barbara, a graduate of the R.N. program, he spent three years serving as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force. While based at Tachikawa Air Force Base in Japan, he toured India and the Far East and retired with the rank of Captain. Upon his return to the U.S., he completed a residency in dermatology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Beginning in 1959, Dr. Aaronson practiced dermatology first from his home in the Edgewood section of Cranston and then, in 1963, from his office on Toll Gate Road in Warwick, across from Kent County Memorial Hospital, with which he was affiliated as a board certified dermatologist. He was appointed clinical assistant in dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1961 and an assistant in dermatology at Harvard Medical School in 1962 and received an honorary degree from Harvard Medical School for his work there. He retired in 1998 at the age of 70.
Dr. Aaronson was a lover of nature and animals, fostered by his childhood spent growing up on the periphery of Roger Williams Park. In 1980, while speaking at a medical conference in Kenya, he fulfilled his dream of going on a photographic safari and was able to observe wild animals up close in their natural habitat. In 1984 he bought a second home in Chatham, where he and his family enjoyed the outdoors, walks on the beach and life in a small seaside town.
Dr. Aaronson is survived by his daughters, Debra Aaronson Lawless and her husband, John, of Cranston and Brewster, Mass. and Pamela Aaronson Hamilton and her husband, John, and two grandchildren, Jack and Peter Hamilton of East Greenwich and Weymouth, Mass. He is also predeceased by his parents, Gunnar and Ebba (Soderlund) Aaronson and his elder brother, Richard.
The "Doc,” as he was affectionately called, will be dearly missed by many, including his family, who had the privilege to enjoy his big personality, original sense of humor, great intelligence and selfless kindness.
His funeral and burial were private.
Donations may be made to Providence Animal Rescue League, 34 Elbow Street, Providence, RI 02903.