Where to begin with Jack? It’s tough to properly describe Jack and thank him. How do you bottle up his big personality into a few paragraphs?
Without question, Jack Aronson was the kindest and most generous person I've ever met. Generous with his time, his resources and his heart. I’m sure “no” wasn’t in Jack’s vernacular. From community groups and nonprofits, to restaurant employees, to students of all grade levels, Jack never said no to lending a helping hand or giving his financial resources and never asked for anything in return or wanted any recognition.
I’m heartened to read all the stories about Jack. None of them surprise me to hear, but it baffles me to think that one person had enough time and energy to impact so many lives.
I have two more stories to add.
It’s a tradition in the Michigan House of Representatives that when a Rep passes their first bill into law, they bring gifts for all of their colleagues from their district. Examples were coney dogs from Flint, candy from Kalamazoo and artistic drink coasters from Saugatuck. When my first bill passed, I immediately thought of Jack. I wanted to bring food from Garden Fresh, but more importantly, I wanted to showcase Jack and his thriving business that was an example of a community- and employee-centered enterprise. Without hesitation, Jack said “Tell me when and where, and I’ll bring a great gift for everyone.”
As you can imagine, he didn’t disappoint. Jack brought each person a cooler, a large bag of chips, large containers of salsa and hummus – and a package of meatballs. Jack stood in the back of the chamber, and all the Reps lined up to meet him and thank him for his generosity and impact on the state. To this day, I hear from people about how much they loved Jack and loved the gifts he brought. Even in that brief interaction, he left a lasting impact on countless people.
My brother Jamie was diagnosed with glioblastoma in May of 2019. Upon hearing the news, Jack reached out and connected him with all of the amazing doctors, nutritionists, etc., who were helping with his own treatment.
Jack regularly hosted us at his house, and he and my brother would talk about everything they were dealing with. Jack gave him advice, along with lots of healthy food and supplements.
Additionally, he urged my brother to start using his hyperbaric chamber to help with the cancer. We went over numerous times to use the chamber, even if Jack and Annette were out of town. He gave us the code to the house and treated us like family … because Jack treated everyone like family.
My heart is heavy, but I am consoled by Jack’s memory. It will be a blessing for countless people forever. Thank you to Annette and the entire Aronson family for sharing him.
And, thank you, Jack! You will be missed immensely.