Joshua Aron, 29, victim at World Trade Center
Sep. 26, 2001
Myra Mensh Patner
Staff Writer




Joshua Todd Aron, who grew up in Potomac and went on to become an equities trader at Cantor Fitzgerald Securities' World Trade Center headquarters in New York, is still listed as missing after terrorists hijacked two planes and crashed them into the Manhattan towers on Sept. 11.

Aron, 29, worked on the 104th floor of the north tower, the first target of the terrorists. Moments after the attack, Aron called his wife of almost one year, Rachel, to tell her the building had been hit and that he was evacuating.

He was not heard from again.

Aron's father-in-law, Will Spitz, who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald also perished in the terrorist acts.

"They never had a chance,'' said Dr. Barry Aron, father of Josh Aron and a Rockville physician.

Josh was the son of Ruthann Aron of New York, former Montgomery County Planning Board commissioner and Republican Senate candidate.

Barry Aron said he had spoken with his son at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 11, some 90 minutes before the attack.

Father and son expressed their love for each other as they often did in their daily early morning phone conversations, said Barry Aron. "I said I loved him and he said he loved me.

"To be so close to the attack is just overwhelming," he said. "To watch TV and know his office was there. Everybody is devastated. It is a nightmare."

Barry Aron said his son was doing work he loved in the very intense, high-pressure environment of the national equities markets.

Joshua Aron had been fascinated by the stock market since he was a young child, reading stock quotes in the newspaper almost as soon as he learned to read, his father said.

Joshua Aron died just four days short of his one-year wedding anniversary. He was married to the former Rachel Pitagorsky, whom he met at Cantor Fitzgerald.

Joshua Aron grew up in Potomac, attended Potomac Elementary School, the former Cabin John Junior High School and graduated from Winston Churchill High School in 1990, serving as yearbook editor.

He gained a degree in consumer economics from Cornell University in 1994, going straight to work for Cantor Fitzgerald.

"He was intense, tenacious and focused,'' said his father.

Though Josh worked in a world of tension and pressure, he was remembered as a kind, sweet and gentle soul with a wry sense of humor who loved to ski and mountain bike, his father said.

Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig, senior rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation in the District, taught Josh Aron his bar mitzvah lessons and worked with the synagogue youth group to which Joshua Aron belonged.

Lustig recalled Aron as a friendly, sensitive young man with good values.

"Josh was a very affable, easygoing guy, incredibly respectful of others," said Lustig. "Just a great kid. He had a good time but never at the expense of others.

"This is a terrible tragedy at every level.''

Lustig will officiate at a memorial service for Aron at 10:30 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 7, at Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.

In addition to his father, mother and wife, Aron is survived by his sister, Dana Aron Weiner of Chicago; her husband, Michael Weiner; his nephew, Maxwell Weiner; two grandmothers, Dora Aronowicz of Los Angeles, Ca.; and Freida Singer of Boynton Beach, Fla.; his stepmother, Martha Aron, and her three children, Benjamin, Rachel and Abigail Jablow.