ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created to celebrate and remember the life of our beloved Stuart Aarons. It will be available permanently for you to visit and update as you wish.  Do please share your memories of Stuart in any form you'd like.  

Under the "Life" tab, you can record a chapter in Stuart's life and/or share a "Story" under that tab. The "Gallery" is the place to upload/download or view others' photos, videos, or audio.

Beethoven was Stuart's favorite classical music composer.  The background music is the Moonlight Sonata played by Vladimir Ashkenazy. If you have other music to share, please do so (under Audio).

Stuart touched all of us in so many ways.  Remembering the wonderful times we shared will ease the pain of his passing.

If you have questions or need assistance about the site, please contact tony.brown@brown-katz.com
Posted by leonard cohen on April 12, 2021

I, ORIGINALLY MET STUART WHEN HE CHOSE TO RENT AT THE BARCLAY IN
MARCH OF 2013...WE FORMED A FRIENDSHIP THAT BECAME A RELATIONSHIP
BORDERING ON SON AND FATHER...WE MET NOT OFTEN ENOUGH, AND SPOKE OF FAMILY AND PHILOSOPHY....CONFIDING IN EACH OF US. I WILL MISS HIM. LENNY
Posted by Bill Marks on April 11, 2021
What can I add that could possibly address my and my wife Donna’s affection for Stuart!
We met when he was consulting for my business, then 2 others, but it quickly went from biz to a great friendship and and almost family like.
Every month was either Dinner at the Capital Grill or Lunch at Taboo, of which he teased me about my old hangout in 70’s and 80’s.
We were to talk on that Sunday evening. No answer and wrote that Monday morning and asked “Hows your Mum are you OK?” I have kept that message.
Tuesday I was getting my license plates when I got the terrible news.
I sat in my car for a period and brought tears to me.
R.I.P. my dear friend
Posted by Alexa Butler on April 11, 2021
Dear Uncle Stuart (I know you said I could stop calling you Uncle but it never felt right not to do so)

I have been trying to think about what to write for the past month and every time I start crying and freeze. I am still overcome with so much sadness and anger. I am so upset to have lost you - I was blessed and fortunate enough to have you in my life as my godfather, my mentor and a member of my family. I am so angry you were taken away from us - there is now a void where you should be and I am still trying to come to terms with this. To say this is unfair is an understatement.

You were an incredible person and seeing all the memories and photos posted from your past further proves how important you were to everyone and their lives. You were there for all the ups and downs and remained a constant support.

When I was much younger and we visited you in Long Island I remember arguing with Morgan to sit in the front seat of your old school convertible (I think it was a fiat) as to me it was the coolest car I had ever seen. On the same visit you showed me my first episode of Top Gear which was the start of my education and appreciation for cars. A few years ago you sent me a book from your collection about Cricket and said we would one day go to Lord’s together - I am looking forward to the day I make it to a match and can understand the basics thanks to you. We went to some fabulous restaurants in London and I am so glad to have those fond memories to look back on. I have asked for a few books from your large collection for all the things I was hoping to learn with you - it’s not the same but at least using your books makes me feel like you are there and teaching me. I was also looking forward to you showing me how to drink Aquavit this summer as we planned at my 21st but maybe for our livers sake we dodged a bullet!

It always made me really happy to know that you kept any postcard I sent you on your fridge. I know due to the distance we weren’t able to see each other as much as we would have liked but sending you cards made it feel like you were apart of all my journeys. The last time we spoke was my birthday and I am sorry we did not speak for longer. We were trying to speak more over the coming weeks and kept missing each other. I am so sorry. I know you would say we can’t live life saying “what if” or “if I had known” but I am sure like everyone else, I would do anything to have one last conversation.

Your passing is a reminder that time is precious and every moment counts. We need to make the most of our time and our loved ones. I promise you I will do this. I also promise to go to Paris as we planned a decade ago to learn more about wine and from the last time we saw each other in person to not to get into the habit of smoking cigars (was only ever on special occasions). 

I miss you and love you so much. You are incredibly missed and the world didn’t deserve to lose you. Rest in peace Uncle Stuart - I am toasting a glass of champagne to you in the beautiful coupe glasses you gave me.

As you would sign your emails, XO to you too

Alexa
Posted by Charlene Yu Vaughn on April 6, 2021
"To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. 
This is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

To our beloved friend, Stuart. 
One of the most successful men I have ever met. 
Posted by Stephen Gibbs on April 4, 2021
Stuart became a piece of my life in the 1980's through the First Wednesday of the Month Club.  Not surprisingly, Stuart was our Chairman. 

The "FWOMC" met for 10+ years and was the petri dish for some very special relationships. It apparently was noteworthy enough to merit a NY Times article in March 1997.

While the article opened and closed with quotes from our Chairman, I'm drawn to another Stuart quote in the text's center:  "I can play for just one day even though I have to be a grown-up tomorrow".

In the video of Stuart's toast at his goddaughter's 18th birthday, he closes with the importance of forging relationships.  I added exerpts fro the NYT article in the "Stories" section because to me it shines as proof of Stuart's ability to forge relationships.  

I hold fast my relationship with Stuart.  He's a strong leader, a good friend, and a lot of fun.  

Prost.
Posted by Paula Brancato on April 3, 2021
I have managed only a small poem about our quirky friend, his love of the sea and the surreal nature of, well, everything.

He Loved the Night

rabbits
rabbits everywhere
my legs won’t flex or straighten

stingrays sweep and swirl
stirring up ocean excrement
sun falls and stains the shifting sands

hard to imagine he’s gone
in his pink sun hat
who’s to judge
a bunny, a dove, an eagle

water teeming, crowded with life
blues tans yellows greens
no reds nor oranges

my legs can bend again
long ago rabbits on the green - he hated them

I kneel perfectly on the beach
my feet tucked under my bottom
by light of the moon and stars

hatchling Golden Thread turtles
graze my knees
tunnel to the sea
Posted by David PARROTT on April 2, 2021
My first proper encounter with Stuart came 2-3 days after our arrival at Christ Church in October 1977. Leaving Hall after dinner, I fell into company with Stuart who pronounced that not only was the food just served unfit for human consumption, but would not again be consumed by him. Stuart was as good as his word, never ate another ordinary meal in College, and subsequently organized his eating around supplies of fillet steak kept unusually in those days in a personal fridge in his room, and developed what was to be a long-standing relationship with a small, but excellent French bistrot within convenient walking distance of the House. On the way back for a drink in his room that evening, I recognized the piece that Stuart was humming to himself - one of his favourite Beethoven compositions, the cavatina from the opus 130 string quartet. The shared enthusiasm for Beethoven - and Handel - kicked off the first of many, many, long conversations wih Stuart, covering every conceivable topic - all of which Stuart, amazingly, would have views about, which he would assert and defend with facility and conviction - and a great deal of friendly teasing of his opponents.
I saw less of him after he graduated and established himself in the States, but it was one of those rare and remarkable friendships where it didn't matter how many years had elapsed since the previous meeting, it was always the case that we picked up the threads of the last conversation as if it had been the day before. Largely because of Stuart's remarkably retentive memory, and his genuine and warm interest in the personalities and thinking, preferences and foibles of his friends, he had that great ability to rekindle a friendship within moments of re-encounter. 
I had assumed that our friendship would continue for many more years, and will feel Stuart's loss deeply. RIP, old and dear friend.
Posted by Mary Fawcus on April 1, 2021
I didn’t know Stuart very well or for very long time, but instinctively liked him on sight. He came over as kind, absolutely genuine and highly intelligent!
At my 70th birthday party we sat him next to a friend who had been a top Times financial and later general correspondent. Her comment to me later was that she had never talked to anyone who knew so much about any given subject but had come over as such a nice unassuming person. She is not a person easily impressed!
Every year our first Christmas card was from Stuart. I just can’t express how much we will miss him.
Goodbye and God bless.

Posted by Pamela Gross on March 31, 2021
Stuart was that rarest of men, deeply humble, impossibly funny and sincerely caring. I was unimaginably fortunate to have reconnected with him after more than a decade, (perhaps longer than that,) only days before his untimely passing. We spent hours on the phone catching up and still had only barely scratched the surface. And, as with such authentic friends as he, it felt as if we had never missed a beat.
I cannot help but feel that it was just like Stuart to make sure to say goodbye before leaving this life. How grateful I will always be for that one last visit. RIP my dear friend... until we meet again. 
Posted by Julie Blake on March 30, 2021
To say that Stuart is irreplaceable doesn't even come close to how we all feel right now; his passing leaves a void that will never be filled.

Stuart and I first met virtually through business in 1997 when I was working for a marketing communications company and he was brought in as a financial consultant for a large project. Of course the first thing that struck me was that accent, as our communication at the time was via telephone and email. Then the "snail mail" as he would call it began ... the cards and postcards, magazine and newspaper clippings, tidbits of interest that Stuart was so adept at sending to his friends and loved ones - and yes, those envelopes with so much tape that it was nearly impossible to insert a letter opener.

Our friendship had its fair share of ups and downs over the years, but we always believed that a true friend is someone you keep. And Stuart was the truest of friends, a gentleman and a scholar, delightfully irreverent, generous, entertaining, thoughtful, punctual and a man of his word.

I've never met a straight man who knew more about women's fashion than Stuart; he would often tell me stories of accompanying his parents as a youth on buying trips and couture collection shows to Paris and Milan. He enjoyed shopping and had an impeccable eye for detail, form and good taste.

I began visiting Stuart when he moved to Palm Beach in 2008, and we explored South Beach, Vero Beach, Boca Raton and Delray Beach - with favorite restaurants in each locale. It was always a delight to dine with Stuart; he was the best dinner-date ever - a statement to which I am sure everyone here agrees.

It still seems unfathomable that Stuart departed so abruptly and unexpectedly. My heart mourns, and I send my deepest condolences to the Aarons-Leon family and all those that remember and love Stuart so well.
Posted by Andrew Cowin on March 26, 2021
As I think back on my time with Stuart, it seems that dinner is what we did most. Five hour dinners … followed by cocktails.

He was a singularly intelligent, sympathetic, convivial and entertaining dinner companion.

in between exchanging barbs with his favorite waiter — or debating with me the relative merits of the wine list — Stuart patiently and humorously imparted his impressively wide range of wisdom and knowledge. Always with a smile. Never pedantic or braggadocious.

On the handful of subjects I knew better than Stuart, he was genuinely interested in hearing me out. Although, he couldn’t resist the occasional needle, such as — Me: “In my humble opinion …”  Stuart: “What? What? What was that word? I thought there was a word in there that I hadn’t heard you use before … I believe it began with an “h.”

Our dinners were fun. I can’t think of a single person who’s sense of humor I enjoyed more, nor of anybody who seemed to understand mine better.

For weeks after our dinners, Stuart would follow-up with emails linking to the topics of our discussions.

When I started writing adaptations of Shakespeare plays, Stuart searched his library for 10 or 15 books of analysis on Shakespeare, which he boxed up and mailed to me.

Stuart was the best companion and the best friend.

The Aarons family has my deepest sympathies for the loss of a unique gentleman.

Posted by Morgan Butler on March 26, 2021
The loss of Stuart has left a large hole in my heart, as I imagine to be likewise for those who were blessed to have him be part of their lives. Not only do I wish I could have thanked him for being the greatest of friends to my father and later our entire family, but for being one of my most important mentors. His interest in me as a student of History and his encouragement in my pursuit of the law has shaped me in more ways than words could do justice. As I come to the close of my final year, I'm sad that I won't be able to celebrate with him in the traditional sense but I know he'll be smiling down at me. I don't believe that the hole that Stuart's loss has created could ever be filled, but I have reached satisfaction in knowing this because he was one of life's greatest treasures and unfortunately, gone way too soon. We were all so lucky to have experienced the joy, laughter and love that he provided - it's something I shall cherish forever.
Posted by Stephanie Rosenberg on March 25, 2021
I met Stuart in 1985 while working on opening the first Davidoff store in NYC, he was our banker and we all know he loved a good cigar. I worked with him and later for him and our friendship stayed strong. I moved to the Bay Area and soon after Stuart moved to San Francisco. I used to tease him that he moved because he missed me too much. 
I will miss his voice, our long political "discussions", his birthday cards (without fail), the newspaper articles he sent on a regular basis, his sense of humor, his laugh and so much more. Most of all, I miss my best friend and will cherish the memories of him for the rest of my life.

My deepest and sincerest condolences to the Aarons - Leon family. May his memory be a blessing to you all.
Posted by Tim Barrett on March 25, 2021
I met Stuart on our first day up at Oxford in 1977. The starting basis of our friendship was the entirely mutual decision NOT to share the digs we had been assigned - that probably would have been catastrophic. We dined and debated throughout our time at the House before locking ourselves away together for the final months to prepare for our exams. He knew how to work hard when it was truly unavoidable. I think I still have his notes on medieval peasantry - he was less than enthusiastic about the peasants as I recall - buried in my files.

I have one private and illustrative memory to share:
One summer night in the South of France I insisted that he join me on a long swim around the buoys guarding the approaches to the beach area in Cannes. He completed this with reasonable good grace and then spent our recovery time on the breakwater explaining to me how misinformed I was, as a product of a traditional C of E education, as to the historical figure of Jesus viewed from an educated Jewish perspective. I have always liked people who could make me think.

I chose him as my daughter’s godfather. We were debating politics and nutrition up until the day he died. I will miss him very much.
Posted by Ron Ries on March 25, 2021
My deepest condolences to the Aarons’ family.
I met Stuart several years ago in NY through my client and friend Israel Weinstock.
We became friends, met numerous times at business events, or met for meals. Dinner was best, since we both enjoyed our wine, Stuart mostly more than me!!!
I remember we always laughed...
We were supposed to meet this year in Florida, Stuart having moved there and my wife and I spending a few months nearby.... but that event never took place. I was in tears when I heard of his loss from Barbara, and I will always miss Stuart’s laugh!!! That will always remain my memory with a big smile.
Best
Ron


Posted by Flavia Dalzell Payne on March 25, 2021
The year is 1989 and I arrive in NYC at the age of 20 to spend a year living and working with my father, Harry. Little did I know what I was letting myself in for. His two best friends were Stuart and Euan (Harvie Watt) - 'The Three Amigos'. I don’t think I can remember a Sunday Brunch when we weren’t altogether. Euan (who lived directly above Harry, poor thing) and Stuart (who seemed to live next door) would arrive at noon for (several) jugs of Bloody Marys and then we would jump into a cab to one of the best brunch places in town. We were always the last to leave and I remember my face hurting from the laughter. Really some of the happiest memories of my life were with The Three Amigos. RIP dear Stuart, you are very much missed. PS: I love all the photos. Always a smile on his face and always a glass (or two) in his hand!
Posted by C.Dennis Crosby on March 24, 2021
As others have mentioned before, there are far too many stories to share all on one page, a number of which are far better suited for sharing face-to-face with the proper imbibement providing the appropriate context and ambiance. Stuart and I met in San Francisco in the '90s when I was brought in to help him manage the chaos that had consumed Playnet Technologies. Upon our first meeting, one of us (I don't recall which) let fly a quote from a Monty Python sketch and the laughter that ensued could only be that of people who knew Python intimately enough to have instantly played out the entire sketch inside one's head. Stuart looked straight at me and said: "We are going to get on just fine. This project is hell (he used a more colorful metaphor) but we'll have some fun. " The next twenty some-odd years consisted of many working sessions that sometimes involved more wine than work, dinners at each others homes, dinners out, wine, cigars, magazine clippings, wine, business trips, introductions to new friends, wine, cocktails, a wedding, LOTS of laughing, and finally...more wine. Stuart was a man of sophistication and yet we often laughed as children do at the silliest of things. Any girlfriend I ever introduced to him, instantly adored him. The world is a little dimmer without his humor and that infectious laugh of his.
Posted by William Stuart on March 24, 2021
“Come and have a drink.” Those were more or less the first words Stuart said to me in our first term at Oxford. And so began more than 40 years of friendship and laughter over shared passions particularly football, cricket, music, films (Westerns!) and good food and wine. He was such a generous and caring man. So many stories to tell. I shall miss you Sir.
Posted by Dorothy Devlin on March 24, 2021
Stuart is such a light in so many people's life. Amazing giver of fun, love and life. He will be missed by so many.......if one of us says his name every day he will remain with us.
Posted by robert ayache on March 24, 2021
Stuart was a close friend for too short a time, as I first met him two and a half years ago at a dinner given by mutual friends; all of us residents of the Barclay. It was so easy to like and respect Stuart at that first get together, and we became friends immediately. My respect and appreciation of Stuart grew every day.
Stuart was the kindest person I met, and always so considerate of everyone. We shared a passion of history and world events and soon realized that during the work period of my life, we had mutual acquaintances. Stuart also had a deep interest and knowledge for great cheeses (e.g., Epoisses) and French baguettes which we shared. I treasure the books he gave me on cheeses, wines, and baguettes. I regret that I got to know him for such a short time.
I will miss you Stuart.
Posted by Amanda Wallingford-Martin on March 24, 2021
I met Stuart years ago at a house party in Wiltshire and we fell right into step. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was the friend you should never be seated next to on a serious occasion. I’m smiling as I write this, remembering those occasions.
Raising a glass and sending Stuart’s family and friends my condolences and my very best regards. Stuart will certainly be missed.
Rest In Peace you marvelous old so & so.
Posted by Pimm Fox on March 24, 2021
"I'm not trying to be facetious, really I'm not,"
"mad I tell you, mad, the world's gone mad,"
"but at end of the day, who am I to complain?"

Posted by PIERS MOUNTGARRET on March 24, 2021
I have so many but let me start with one of the earliest. The first time I had the honour of enjoying Sunday lunch with him and his parents at their house in N. London, his father was in his usual chair reading the Sunday Telegraph. We discussed football rather quickly over some initial drinks. Lunch was soon served, the very fine fayre of smoked salmon, roast beef, Dom Perignon and some delicious red wine. Consumed with great alacrity by those present, I was still able to keep up with the conversation after lunch. The end of a very enjoyable time came with the immortal words from Stuart's father to Stuart--"your friend, he can come again". 
Posted by Nick Harper on March 24, 2021
I met Stuart when we were contemporaries at University and we stayed friends from then onwards. I will share a few stories but I remember when we were young, probably in our early 30s, talking about what we'd want our epitaphs to read. Stuart wanted
"I ordered a large cognac 20 minutes ago. I hope wherever I'm going, the service is better". I hope so too. RIP Stuart
Posted by Jeffery Potter on March 23, 2021
I was fortunate enough to meet Stuart through one of my businesses as our investment banker. Through a series of conversations at cocktail hour in California which was late in Palm Beach, we developed a friendship. It turned out we both had corporate experience working in real estate and finance. In this particular case it was Sandy Wyle. Stuart‘s company was one of our Investment partners when I first started in the real estate development business in Newport Beach. As we developed our professional and personal friendship I became acutely aware of Stuart’s intelligent, kindness and outstanding sense of humor. I even offered to fly to Palm Beach to buy Stuart dinner and a special bottle of French Burgundy.

Losing Stuart it’s like losing a piece of your body. You know it is gone, but you can still feel it.

Rest peacefully my friend.

Best, Jeff Potter ( California)

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by leonard cohen on April 12, 2021

I, ORIGINALLY MET STUART WHEN HE CHOSE TO RENT AT THE BARCLAY IN
MARCH OF 2013...WE FORMED A FRIENDSHIP THAT BECAME A RELATIONSHIP
BORDERING ON SON AND FATHER...WE MET NOT OFTEN ENOUGH, AND SPOKE OF FAMILY AND PHILOSOPHY....CONFIDING IN EACH OF US. I WILL MISS HIM. LENNY
Posted by Bill Marks on April 11, 2021
What can I add that could possibly address my and my wife Donna’s affection for Stuart!
We met when he was consulting for my business, then 2 others, but it quickly went from biz to a great friendship and and almost family like.
Every month was either Dinner at the Capital Grill or Lunch at Taboo, of which he teased me about my old hangout in 70’s and 80’s.
We were to talk on that Sunday evening. No answer and wrote that Monday morning and asked “Hows your Mum are you OK?” I have kept that message.
Tuesday I was getting my license plates when I got the terrible news.
I sat in my car for a period and brought tears to me.
R.I.P. my dear friend
Posted by Alexa Butler on April 11, 2021
Dear Uncle Stuart (I know you said I could stop calling you Uncle but it never felt right not to do so)

I have been trying to think about what to write for the past month and every time I start crying and freeze. I am still overcome with so much sadness and anger. I am so upset to have lost you - I was blessed and fortunate enough to have you in my life as my godfather, my mentor and a member of my family. I am so angry you were taken away from us - there is now a void where you should be and I am still trying to come to terms with this. To say this is unfair is an understatement.

You were an incredible person and seeing all the memories and photos posted from your past further proves how important you were to everyone and their lives. You were there for all the ups and downs and remained a constant support.

When I was much younger and we visited you in Long Island I remember arguing with Morgan to sit in the front seat of your old school convertible (I think it was a fiat) as to me it was the coolest car I had ever seen. On the same visit you showed me my first episode of Top Gear which was the start of my education and appreciation for cars. A few years ago you sent me a book from your collection about Cricket and said we would one day go to Lord’s together - I am looking forward to the day I make it to a match and can understand the basics thanks to you. We went to some fabulous restaurants in London and I am so glad to have those fond memories to look back on. I have asked for a few books from your large collection for all the things I was hoping to learn with you - it’s not the same but at least using your books makes me feel like you are there and teaching me. I was also looking forward to you showing me how to drink Aquavit this summer as we planned at my 21st but maybe for our livers sake we dodged a bullet!

It always made me really happy to know that you kept any postcard I sent you on your fridge. I know due to the distance we weren’t able to see each other as much as we would have liked but sending you cards made it feel like you were apart of all my journeys. The last time we spoke was my birthday and I am sorry we did not speak for longer. We were trying to speak more over the coming weeks and kept missing each other. I am so sorry. I know you would say we can’t live life saying “what if” or “if I had known” but I am sure like everyone else, I would do anything to have one last conversation.

Your passing is a reminder that time is precious and every moment counts. We need to make the most of our time and our loved ones. I promise you I will do this. I also promise to go to Paris as we planned a decade ago to learn more about wine and from the last time we saw each other in person to not to get into the habit of smoking cigars (was only ever on special occasions). 

I miss you and love you so much. You are incredibly missed and the world didn’t deserve to lose you. Rest in peace Uncle Stuart - I am toasting a glass of champagne to you in the beautiful coupe glasses you gave me.

As you would sign your emails, XO to you too

Alexa
his Life

Obituary Posted by James Gerard at the Union Club, New York (at which Stuart was a longtime member)

IN MEMORIAM

Stuart Daniel Aarons (November 9, 1958 – March 7, 2021) 


Union Club member Stuart Daniel Aarons passed away on the 7th of March 2021 in Palm Beach, Florida, where he had been living for the past several years.  Stuart Aarons was elected to membership in 1994 and was a Union Club member for 27 years. A man of great charm, wit, and intelligence, Stuart will be missed by his many friends on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Born on the 9th of November 1958 in London, England to Fay and the late Charles Aarons, Stuart graduated from the University College School (London) in 1977.  Stuart won a place at Christ Church, Oxford to study Modern History.  From the outset, he relished his tutorials, honing his debating skills and displaying, as one amused tutor drily noted, a remarkable ability to make the most of limited information. In recognition of his keen intellect, he was awarded an Exhibition at the end of his first year and went on to graduate in 1980 with a strong second and a lifelong devotion to the college. Naturally outgoing and gregarious, Stuart made many friends at Oxford who shared his love of good food, good wine, and good conversation, often into the wee hours of the night. 

 Shortly thereafter, he set out for “fame and fortune” by joining the executive training program at Chemical Bank in New York City.  By this point, he was gaining friends and acquaintances fast and furiously, both British and American.  His career took him to the Boston Private Bank, Bankers Trust, and then a series of more entrepreneurial stabs where he became an M&A advisor to different gaming and biopharma situations.  First, in San Francisco, then back to New York City, and then, Palm Beach.  When in New York, Stuart found the love of his life, Barbara Close, and they were married from 2003 to 2008, during which time he was occasionally spotted mowing their East Hampton garden while smoking a fine cigar.

Stuart loved history, classical music (Beethoven most of all), great wines and cuisine.  Sunday mornings were devoted to watching his favorite UK soccer team, Tottenham Hotspurs, on television; no phone calls could disturb him then.  He was equally fond of Formula I races and James Bond movies. 

Stuart joined the Union Club in 1994, and, having grown allergic to the gym and squash courts, found himself more at home in one of the big leather chairs of the Club’s Library with a glass of port in hand.  At other times, he loved to entertain at one of the corner tables in either the East Room or Main Dining Room.  Often, he would sneak into the Club’s wine cellars for a “look”.  Most of all, Stuart was proud of his long-standing membership in the “mother of clubs”, for which he will be greatly missed. 

A Roasting Ditty for Stuart's Stag Party

Assembled as we were at Keen's Chophouse in New York, a group of Stuart's mates bade him farewell to his life as a footloose and fiancee-free gallivanter.  Here was my contribution (with apologies for any bad taste! The reference to prior dating is purely ficticious - with a few exceptions :-) )

He's getting married, is Mr. Aarons
Son of his proud and worried parents,
Who always thought that he might be gay
Since it seemed remote - that wedding day.
But a life of booze and Havana smokes
And wearing slippers quite bespoke
Did not dull his search for a pukka spouse
Who appeared in the form of Barbara Close.

Poor thing, she knows not what's in store:
Cigar smoke, Eau Sauvage, and books galore -
lf she were smart she'd call Regina
(Pronounced by Stuart as if "vagina")
To find out what he's really like -
Our Talmud-trained, most learn-ed type.
She'd find out what we already know,
That he's a good-for-nothing so-and-so.

To prove this point with facts abundant
We have to start in good ol' London.
His father taught him to drink at six
And gorged him on foie gras till he was sick.
He bought and sold, bobbed and weaved
And a place at Oxford somehow achieved.
And that produced a yen to hanker
To succeed in life as a private banker.

At last at Chemical he found his niche:
To impress the mass of nouveau riche,
To aspire to heights of high society,
And forego his training in Jewish piety.
This seemed to him like being ln heaven
Compared to dealing with that bastard Levin.
But bigger things were on his plate
Before he would settle and find a mate.

His dates comprised a wondrous crew
Muslims, gypsies and Episca-Jews!
None of them could be called good lookers
ln fact a few could double as hookers.
ln public he failed to present the batch ...
Claimed he was always on an "away" match.
His mother, poor thing, would get morose
ln fear that he'd get some lethal dose.

Around then he realized that he'd have to diet;
A ritual he loathed, but was forced to try it.
His weight had gotten to be quite risky
To the point where he was forced to give up whisky.
His closets contain suits in all sizes,
A veritable source of Halloween disguises.
He came to realize that if he gave up cream
He'd eventually find the girl of his dreams.

On politics, he's to the right of Attila the Hun
And believes that diplomacy begins with a gun.
He'd settle the Middle East war in a stroke -
By ridding the world of all Arabic folk.
Of military strategies and plans he's a buff
But seeing him in combat would test out his stuff
For as we all know, our Stuart can talk
And by talking it's easy to be a great hawk.

So now nears the day when our boy will be wed.
"A day that won't happen", as everyone said.
So light up your stogies and fill up your glass
To Stuart's induction to the "Upper Class".
Let's wish him well, and toast "Cheers, Cheers"
And say a thank you to best man Piers.
We wish you a life of joy and bliss
And hope you realize that I was just taking the piss!

Mazeltov! And all best wishes - Tony Brown - March 22, 2003

Recent stories
Shared by PIERS MOUNTGARRET on April 8, 2021
We all know Stuart took great pleasure in sending articles of diverse interests to many of his friends.  Cars, Wine, Bikinis, Fashion, Food, Cigars, the list goes on.  My wife, Fenella, and I were frequent recipients, inter alia, of many a food recipe. We did not have time to try them all but many we did.  Indeed the last recipe he sent in late February was Nigel Slater’s recipe for chicken with leeks.

It was delicious even though the dish might appear at first rather simple.However, either Stuart was laughing at us or it was just serendipitous because two days after his passing, we called to speak to his good friend Tina Vaux in Switzerland. What was she cooking for dinner?  The exact same menu that we were, and one that he had sent to her!


Books, Bikinis, and the Final Piece of Snail Mail

Shared by Julie Blake on April 6, 2021
Stuart would have been the first person I called today, to let him know that it was an unprecedented balmy 81 degrees Fahrenheit in Chicago and I was sunning in the back yard. He would have been so happy to hear that I was enjoying the sun and wearing one of the two dozen bikinis that he had sent me over the past 12 years. He always wanted to know which one I had selected to wear on any given day, and it pleased him greatly that his gifts brought joy and sustained my favorite hobby.

Stuart also sent me an equally impressive number of cocktail table books, ranging in topic from my favorite artists to iconic fashion designers to travel destinations and the best beaches in the world. Rarely anything in-between ... books to bikinis pretty much covered it all.

He was always careful to tread lightly with conversation in the winter, and never reminded me of that fact that his gaze was cast on the ocean and palm trees while my view was of snow, icicles, and seemingly endless grey vistas. Stuart was gracious to only mention the weather if I initiated the topic. February 2021 was an especially "horrid" month in Chicago, with over 30 days of below-freezing temperatures and record-breaking amounts of snowfall. It seems fitting that the final piece of snail mail which I received, postmarked March 6, 2021 was a message to "Hang in There" as "Spring is on the Way!!" Always the supportive and nurturing friend, I will miss his sweet remembrances forever and am grateful to have known such an impeccably wonderful human being.
Shared by Stephen Gibbs on April 4, 2021
Stuart was Chairman of the First Wednesday of the Month Club.  Below are some excerpts from the NY Times article (March 30, 1997) describing Stuart's role and giving a taste of our  time together.  My apologies to author Edward Lewine for the edits.  

Nothing Lasts Forever
Edward Lewine

''SHUT UP,'' boomed Stuart Aarons in his British baritone. ''Now shut up. I am calling a meeting. It is the 11th anniversary of this august body.''

The February 1997 meeting of the First Wednesday of the Month Club was officially in session. Eight of the club's nine active members were seated around a table in the Bridge Cafe, a cozy restaurant on Water Street by the South Street Seaport. The lights were low, wine was flowing, spirits were light, but there was also some tension in the air. The members suspected that they would be calling it quits that night.

It was a wrenching decision. On the first Wednesday of every month, month after month for close to 11 years, the members had gathered at one bar or another in Manhattan. They would drink and talk and then have a short meeting -- concerned mostly with deciding where to hold the next gathering -- and then drink and talk some more.

It had been great fun, but 1996 had not been a good year for the club. The members had been in their mid 20's and new to the city back in 1986, when they had first come together. Now, looking around the table, the effects of time were plain to see. Waistlines had grown, hairlines had receded and wrinkles had deepened. People had children to think about now and new jobs and other interests.
When the table had settled down for Mr. Aarons, he took attendance, greeted a few guests and conducted a small ceremony in honor of the Shaws. Then Mr. Aarons came to what everybody was waiting for.
''We have openly talked about doing something differently,'' he said delicately. ''Because times have moved on. So I say we should pick a date to come up with a new format for the club.''
They all agreed. The monthly meetings weren't sustainable anymore. Maybe they would meet once a year or something. Someone seconded the motion and everyone assented. After 11 years, the First Wednesday of the Month Club had calmly voted itself out of existence.
In many ways the First Wednesday of the Month Club had outlived its usefulness. The idea for the club was hatched on the first Wednesday of February 1986, when five young executives at what was then Chemical Bank gathered for after-work drinks at Crawdaddy, a bar on East 45th Street.
The five, who included three current members, Mr. Aarons, Ms. Shaw and Jim Bergesen, were typical of the young people who have been flocking to the city to make their fortune for the last century. This group had come to town in the go-go 1980's. It was a time of big money, power ties and punishing work schedules. It was not an environment conducive to building friendships.
Thus, the First Wednesday of the Month Club was born. It wasn't like a club devoted to, say, books or wine tasting. This club was intended to arrest change. The five young founders wanted something that their urban, business-oriented lives couldn't provide: a safe cocoon where they would be known and accepted.
''We would all have gone out anyway,'' Mr. Aarons said. ''But it was nice to have a little core.''
As the meetings of the first year rolled on, they elected Ms. Shaw, who was then Sally Ryan, and Mr. Aarons as officers. Rules of membership were ordained and fines, in the form of rounds bought, were established for showing up late. Before they knew it, they were celebrating their first anniversary with a big dinner.
''The first anniversary dinner was the pivotal moment,'' Mr. Aarons said. ''There was a sense then that this club had actually taken on a life of its own.''
They had epic meetings. Mr. Aarons recalls a time when they literally took over a restaurant near the United Nations by enticing all the other diners in the room to join onto their table and hold a discussion on international relations. One evening, Jackie Yang, who had joined at the third meeting, held a pillow-fight-filled pajama party at her apartment. And there were many legendary bar crawls that lasted well into the morning.
''It began as a lark,'' said Mr. Aarons. ''Because you can't say that four or five people who were drunk in a bar would do anything else. But it became something more appreciated, or worth preserving, as time went on.''
"I can play for one day," Mr. Aarons said, "even though I have to be a grown-up tomorrow."
Mr. Aarons kept the banter flowing.
''Stuart, our chairman, would be the center of attention at our meetings,'' said Mr. Bergesen.
For now each member of the First Wednesday of the Month Club is off leading his or her life and trying to deal with the loss of this odd little society. This Wednesday will be the first Wednesday of the month of April 1997. And wherever they happen to be, a small group of men and women will look at their calendars and remember.
''We've had a great 10-year run,'' Mr. Aarons said, ''but we've all moved on."
Thank you Stuart.