Myra Joy Aronson, 50, left her condo on Russell Street early on Sept. 11, 2001 to board American Airlines Flight 11.
She was a public relations professional and an adjunct professor at Emerson College, and was headed to California for an industry conference. Around 8:45 a.m., she died with the other 91 people aboard the plane when it crashed into the North Tower at the World Trade Center.
She left behind many friends, colleagues, her mother, Evelyn, of St. Louis, a brother, Jules, of Bethesda, Md.; and two sisters, Elyse Van Breedan of Clearwater, Fla., and Deborah of St. Louis.
Aronson had been a Charlestown resident for years. Before buying her condo on Russell Street, she lived on Monument Street with a boyfriend.
She had done public relations work for major clients around the city, including Boston's Handel & Hayden Society and the Celtics. (Her family told Patch that a bag of autographed basketballs were in her closet -- a gift from the team that they have kept to this day.)
Aronson loved France, studied in Aix en Provence while in college, and traveled back there whenever she could. She was a connoisseur of fine wines and with her friends each year she had a "Frog Dinner," where they spoke French and celebrated French culture.
Her death was particularly devastating to her brother Jules and his wife Nancy, who, despite living in Bethesda, Md., were close to Aronson. Since Aronson's death, Jules and Nancy have become activists for families and victims of 9/11. Nancy serves on the board of Families of Sept. 11 and this September they'll be attending an International Congress for Victims of Terrorism in Paris -- a bittersweet twist, given Aronson's love of Paris.
"I don't believe you ever get fully over such a loss," Nancy told Patch, but volunteering to help others has helped the family cope with their grief.
After her death, her family sold the Russell Street property and had a tag sale -- donating all of the proceeds to a scholarship in Aronson's name to Miami University of Ohio, her alma mater. Neighbors came and, though they did not take anything, they made donations, according to Aronson's sister-in-law.
Just before she died, Aronson purchased a gift online for Sophie, Jules and Nancy's new granddaughter. The present arrived days after her death. Aronson was hoping to combine her trip to California with a visit to Hawaii, to meet the new baby -- her family regrets she never had the chance.