For decades Dr. Doris Aaronson, a New York University professor, dedicated her expertise and guidance to problems and issues in the Township of West Milford and other area communities. She had a long career as a professor of cognitive psychology and neuroscience at the university. She was known as a trailblazer for women in academia, having worked with the United States Navy on the guidance system for the Polaris submarine.
Born on April 4, 1938, in Washington, D.C. and growing up surrounded by the beauty of the nation’s capital and its surroundings, Aaronson somehow later discovered the Pinecliff Lake community and fell in love with the lakes and woods, and with living a country lifestyle in North Jersey; she wanted to protect it all.
When volunteers were needed or there was environmental trouble of any kind, she was there to give her full attention to fix whatever was wrong. She worked not only with the West Milford Environmental Commission but with other area communities as well.
Although her service to the West Milford Environmental Commission was monumental, Aaronson was never an official member of the commission. Because of her well-known dedication to the creation of open space and efforts protect wildlife, West Milford Environmental Commission Chairman Steve Sangle addressed her dedication by naming Aaronson as an honorary member. He also presented a metal sign to Pinecliff Lake Community Club representatives. The sign shows that the rain garden that is being constructed at the Pinecliff Lake Clubhouse grounds will be named the Doris Aaronson Memorial Rain Garden. The Pinecliff Lake Community Club is exclusively responsible for the cost of the garden.
Aaronson died at Milford Manor Nursing Home at 83 on Feb. 22 after a long illness. She was the author of many books and research papers, a member of the Passaic River Coalition, and an enthusiastic supporter of the West Milford Library, where the library’s environmental section is named in her honor.