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In Remembrance, Robert Aaron

Long-time SLA Georgia member Rob Aaron died on December 26, 2018. Raised in Calhoun, Rob graduated from Emory University, earning both a BA with Honors in Political Science and a Masters in Library Science. He was an active member of the library community, working as a reference librarian at Georgia State University and the Atlanta Journal/Constitution before founding AaronSmith Associates, Inc, in 1981, an innovative research company specializing in the then arcane field of online research.

AaronSmith tackled a variety of unusual tasks, from supplying the factoids for CNN Headline News, producing analytical news coverage comparisons for such companies as Coca-Cola and UPS and producing fast-turnaround, in-depth research for the PR departments of Atlanta’s leading companies.

The company also participated in the early information economy with the sale of full-text database software that ran on a TRS-80 computer and the development of prototype online publishing, including a Georgia legislative news service and the first online offering of the Atlanta Journal Constitution movie reviews.

Rob also enjoyed teaching reference at the Clark Atlanta University library school and later was a researcher at the local public radio station, WABE. At the time of his death, Rob was a reference librarian with Georgia Gwinnett College.

He was also an active member of the Atlanta musical community, singing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Atlanta Symphony Chamber Chorus under the direction of Robert Shaw and as a staff singer for various Atlanta faith communities. His special joy was singing with the acclaimed Atlanta Singers from their debut in 1976 to April of 2016. He also sang with Atlanta Chamber Singers, another highly regarded local ensemble.

Rob will be much missed at St. Luke’s Episcopal, his church home for 40 years, where he served in the choir, as a member of the television crew, and as a member of the ringing band of St. Luke’s change ringing bells. He married his beloved wife, Judith, at St. Luke’s in 1981 in an innovative music-crammed service that was not only one of the first video-recorded weddings in Atlanta, but, at 90 minutes, also one of the longest.

Rob’s kindness and dependability enhanced every rehearsal and committee meeting. From too-well-worn stories shared with the “poker buddies” from Calhoun to the latest political insights, Rob cheered and entertained his fellow-travelers. His charm, wide-ranging intelligence, and elfin wit will be sorely missed by his friends and co-workers, but most of all by his family.

He is survived by his wife Judith, his daughter Rachel, her husband Travis, and his grandson Nathan. He was a loving and supportive father, a beloved grandfather, and the dearest and best of companions to his wife. Rob was the son of R.T. and Sarah Frances Aaron, deceased, of Calhoun, Georgia.

The funeral service was held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta on Wednesday, January 9th. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, memo: Rob Aaron Music Fund, or to the Training and Counseling Center, https://www.trainingandcounselingcenter.org/, 98 Currier Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30308.

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