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Aaron Fussell was one of those modest World War II heroes who saved the free world, then came home and spent the rest of his life building a better world.
I knew him as school superintendent and a legislator. But I got to know him best much later, on the golf course. That’s where you can really get to know a person.
Aaron played, walked and stayed active well into his 80s. He also loved to talk politics. I enjoyed walking nine holes with him late afternoons. He pulled his clubs behind him on an ancient cart. His shots were short, but always straight down the fairway. Typically on a par four, he’d be 20 or 30 yards off the green after two shots. He’d take out an eight iron, chip the ball up to within a few feet of the cup, sink the putt, take his par and walk on to the next hole, talking every step of the way.
If he ran into a young person, he’d pepper them with questions: Where are you in school? What subjects do you like? How are your grades? Do you play any sports? Where are you going to college?
He knew everybody, and he had a connection with everybody. “I coached his daddy at Elm City.” “I hired her mother to teach at Millbrook.” “His great-uncle and I played basketball together at Atlantic Christian.”
The ultimate connection came one day when he introduced me to his friend Hannas, who grew up in Belgium. I shouldn’t have been surprised when Aaron added, “My unit liberated his village.”
He liberated a lot of people, and he touched a lot of lives. He was a great soul.


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2 comments on “Aaron Fussell

  1. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Fussell was from a different world. His Democrat Party was not the same as the party today. He lived in a time when people were allowed to be free to succeed or fail. I saw a stat the other day on how many single parents there are in the nation today, and I looked up some of the same stats on years ago. Back as far as they kept records on these things single parents were only in the low single digits. The world has changed a lot. Many of the problems we have today stem from progress. I guess thats the price we pay. Not sure it is worth the price.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Now THAT sounds like someone I could have come to like as a friend and admire as a person. Curious what his politics were. You said he loved to talk politics. His background and what you’ve said about him screams conservative. Possibly a “conservative democrat”?

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this. Love hearing about our vets and the wonderful things they did and who they became when they came back from war.

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