His Life

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


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