unknown - December 8, 2012
Bill Aaron, of Skaneateles, award winning winemaker, computer wizard and master gardener died Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Proud father to Heather and Steve and devoted husband to Janet, Bill consistently proved the skeptics wrong. He was a hero to many for the challenges he overcame.
Bill was born in the spring of 1945 in Brookville, Pa., and graduated from Brookville High School where he still holds the record for the fastest 100-yard dash. Bill was the oldest of five children born to Bill and Mary Aaron. Bill dabbled a bit with some Penn State extension courses while working for Sylvania in Brookville, and when the facility moved to Seneca Falls, N.Y., Bill did too. He lived in New York state for more than 40 years, yet always considered himself a Pennsylvania boy. Switching careers from electronics to finance, Bill met his future wife Janet and they married in 1972. Job transfers took Bill and Janet to Rhode Island, Glens Falls and Corning, N.Y., with their last stop back at Janet's hometown in Skaneateles. This is where son Steve grew up and daughter Heather rejoined them, and hockey became the family passion. Career changes didn't end here. With downsizing in the mid 1990s, Bill realized the future was in computers. An Internet pioneer, he taught himself website design and programming and started his own business. He was the first to develop a website for the Skaneateles Chamber of Commerce, the town of Skaneateles, Joe Whiting Music and many other businesses throughout the area. But perhaps his happiest work was with Eastman Kodak where he managed their website until one fateful day, Father’s Day 2000, when Bill had a devastating stroke that ended his career. However, life did not end there for Bill. Against all odds and despite paralysis on one side, he relearned how to walk, talk and maneuver. Amazingly, he became a master gardener with his good friend Mary Phillips. He entered and won ribbons for his pickles and jams in the New York State Fair and eventually began growing grapes and making his own wine. Once again he excelled, winning many medals, including the NYS State Fair and other amateur winemaker competitions.
Bill is survived by his wife of over 40 years, Janet (Evans), daughter, Heather Manrow of Elbridge, son Steven Aaron of Philadelphia, PA, grandchildren, Jason, Joshua and Jacob Manrow and Olivia VanZandt, sister and brother-in-law Barbara and Jack Geelen, of North Carolina, brother John Aaron and Sylvia Monreal, of Texas, sister Mary Catherine Malone of Pennsylvania, sister and brother- in-law Laura and Floyd Godfrey, of Elbridge, and many nieces and nephews.
Private services were held at the Burrows Chapel on Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Cayuga County Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, or the Skaneateles Library Association. To send condolences visit: robertdgrayfuneralhome.com