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Reston Remembers Aaron

Community activist Barbara Aaron dies.

Barbara Aaron is remembered as a woman dedicated to her family, career and community. Aaron, most recently the Hunters Woods/Dogwood representative on the Reston Association Board of Directors, died on Tuesday, Dec. 12.

"She was driven to do it all," said husband John Aaron about his late wife's commitment to family, career and community. "She had incredible drive and determination."

Aside from her service on the RA Board since 2002, Barbara Aaron, 65, also held positions in the YMCA, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Reston Arts Center. John Aaron said he would frequently tell her she was running herself down, but she was too committed to the community to stop working.

"She was extremely active in the community and Reston was her passion. She loved Reston and everything about it," said John Aaron.

Linda Miller, a friend of 20 years, met Barbara Aaron in 1986 while working on a project for the Reston Chamber of Commerce. She echoed John Aaron's sentiments that Barbara Aaron was committed to Reston, as well as her private and professional life. "I'm not sure how she did all of that, but she did it with a lot of gusto," said Miller. "She had a can-do attitude for anything that needed to be done," she said. Miller added that Barbara Aaron's commitment to the community was a personal sacrifice, and that it meant time away from family. She said that in 20 years she had never heard Barbara Aaron complain once. "She was always optimistic and that was very inspiring to the rest of us. She just enjoyed her life," said Miller.

THE PRESIDENT of the RA Board, Jennifer Blackwell, said Barbara Aaron was very dedicated to everything she did. "I really looked up to her as a mentor," said Blackwell.

Emotions ran high after a moment of silence at Thursday's RA Board monthly meeting. Blackwell said Barbara Aaron was fiercely committed to improving the quality of life in Reston. "Her dedication and passion for the community was evident at any meeting," said Blackwell.

Vice President Robin Smyers echoed Blackwell's sentiment that Barbara Aaron was a mentor on the RA Board. She said a bench should be dedicated to Barbara Aaron and a tree planted in her name. Also, thanks to Aaron's work in finding a new headquarters building for the RA, something within that building should be named after her, once the location is found.

RA Board's secretary, Mark Watts, said: "It was a distinct privilege to have known someone who gave so selflessly."

BARBARA AARON was born in Washington, D.C., in 1941. She attended Duke University, attaining a degree in economics. She then entered into a career in real estate. "She spent her entire working life in real estate," said John Aaron. That career brought her to Reston in 1975. She then moved to Cape Cod for a couple of years, but returned to Reston, for good, in 1980. According to John Aaron, the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors recognized Barbara Aaron's long service in real estate and named her to the NVAR Hall of Fame in 2001.

After nearly two decades of community involvement, Barbara Aaron's kidney failed in 1999, and she had a kidney transplant. A friend donated the kidney. She was forced to take immune suppressant drugs in order for the body to receive the new organ. Since her immune system was suppressed, John Aaron said his wife contracted bacterial infections twice or three times a year. "She threw them off and went to work," said John Aaron.

However, said John Aaron, Barbara Aaron contracted fungal meningitis, a fungal infection in the brain in August. The infection forced her to have an extended stay in the hospital. While she was in the hospital she also contracted other hospital infections that led to further complications. John Aaron said she died of sepsis and complications from fungal meningitis.

Barbara Aaron is survived by husband John Aaron, daughters Anne Aaron and Jennifer Price and grandchildren Matthew and Lauren Price.