Aaron Weiss released his earthly passage on November 4, 2017 just one day shy of his 99th birthday. Aaron was a loving husband, father (to Laura Winds and Cara Wilson-Granat), father-in-law (to Peter Granat), grandfather (to Tess Winds-Johnson, Ethan Wilson and Jesse Wilson), great grandfather (to Bly Henderson and Neiva Brubaker, Kaio R. Wilson and Nicholas Jackson Wilson), uncle, brother and friend. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio to parents, Sarah and Benjamin, Aaron was the youngest of a family of seven—four sisters and three brothers, all deceased.
He was married for 73 years to his beloved wife, Lilly, who passed on August 28, 2016 at the age of 94. Aaron received his B.A. degree from Western Reserve University with a major in Social Sciences, with a minor in Biology. He received his Master of Arts degree from Columbia University, New York City majoring in Psychology and a Ph.D. degree from Newport University majoring in Human Sexuality. During World War II he served in the Army Air Force in the Psychological Division testing and selecting pilots, bombardiers and navigators. In the latter war years Aaron assisted psychiatrists with returning veterans who were being diagnosed with “combat fatigue”—now recognized as “Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.” He served as an Executive Director for major synagogues in Cleveland, Ohio and Los Angeles, California. In the early 1950s, Aaron, his wife Lilly and daughters relocated from Cleveland to the San Fernando Valley, CA where they purchased a small ranch in expectation of becoming chicken farmers. There they raised chickens, goats and rabbits and eventually sold the ranch several years later. He then changed careers pursuing what he loved the best, building his psychotherapy practice.
Upon his move to Bellingham and until his retirement in 1996 he served as a psychotherapist in private practice and for Catholic Community Services. He and Lilly lived on Lummi Island in their “Enchanted Cottage” home by the sea until they moved to their final residence at Orchard Park Assisted Living in Bellingham. During his Lummi Island years, Aaron enjoyed writing and created a column in the Lummi Island Newsletter. Popular with the locals there, his column acknowledged some of the islanders who made significant volunteer contributions for the welfare of the island community. He also composed his newsy “Musings from the Eagle’s Nest”, which he wrote atop a cozy treehouse office behind his home and mailed to family and friends.
A lifelong romantic and dreamer, Aaron also wrote poetry, short fictional stories, passionately loved music—from classical symphonies to pop; as well as embraced the worlds of photography, gardening and all things nature. He loved the beauty and peace of the sea and the forest most of all, walking with his beloved dog, Jake, by his side. He was a 32nd Degree Mason and Shriner; and on Lummi Island, he participated with Lilly in a few dramatic productions presented by the Lummi Island Players. An avid reader, he and Lilly were members of an ongoing book discussion group held at The Village Book Store in Fairhaven. Known for his great sense of humor as well as a profound wisdom and deep sense of curiosity with just about everything—he found the natural world the most fascinating. He valued kindness and love above all else. And will be remembered because of that. His totem was the majesty of The Eagle—a bird he loved for its strength and beauty. Fly in peace, dear Aaron.
A private family service for Aaron will be held in the late Spring on Lummi Island. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to either OneTreePlanted.org https://onetreeplanted.giv.sh Or to Whatcom Hospice Foundation, 2901 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham, WA 98225 (360-733-1231); www.HospiceHelp.org) and/or specific donations in Aaron’s memory directed to Hospice House, 2806 Douglas Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225 (360-788-6855).