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David Aronoff, Class of 1942

By: Ted Peck ’42

The first name in April 5, 2005’s New York Times obituary list is my classmate and friend David Aronoff ‘42. He died of cancer on April 4th. Dave was a remarkable guy, probably the finest swimmer to ever attend Townsend Harris, and still playing tennis at 81. Although he was a so-so student in his Harris days, he became a true intellectual in his later years. He continued to take college courses until the very end of his life, expanding his mind and satisfying his curiosity. It always impressed me that he studied Italian so that he could read Italian literature in its original form. It didn’t seem pretentious or artificial when he mentioned to me one day how much he enjoyed reading Ovid’s poetry. (In translation, in this case.)

Dave was personable, kind, generous and thoughtful – a straight talker who spoke from the heart but was careful not to offend. A very private person, I don’t know if he had any very close friends, but I know I cherished him as a dear friend. At our 1942 Commencement ceremonies, Dave was awarded two medals relating to strength of character. They sure had that right.