Marvin Edward Aronson, 89, Philadelphia's medical examiner during the MOVE crisis, died Saturday, Sept. 6, at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne of complications of a stroke suffered five days earlier.
A Philadelphia native, he became involved in medicine not long after graduating from Central High School in 1942 - serving in the Army during World War II in Asia from 1943 to 1946, first as a medic and later as a cryptographic technician.
In 1952, he graduated from Temple University School of Medicine. In 1959, he married Gail Ronna Rosenbloom of Coudersport, Pa.; they were married for 43 years before she died of cancer.
Dr. Aronson was chief medical examiner from 1971 to 1985, which included the MOVE siege and conflagration on May 13, 1985, that resulted in the deaths of 11 members of the radical group, including five children.
His office, which had long been tagged as demoralized, understaffed, and underfunded, came under fire after the city bombed the MOVE compound, a rowhouse in West Philadelphia. Dr. Aronson resigned before the year ended.
The following year, a special mayoral commission assigned to investigate the disaster criticized the Medical Examiner's Office for allowing a construction crane to be used in the excavation for the bodies. As a result, some bodies were dismembered and some evidence was destroyed. The office was also faulted for failing to identify metal fragments found in the bodies that could have been buckshot.
The report characterized the Medical Examiner's Office as "unprofessional" and in violation "of generally accepted practices."
After leaving the post, Dr. Aronson did medical consulting, said his son David.
Dr. Aronson's hobbies included aviation, and he held a private aviation license. He was also a member of the Unstructured Synagogue and the Shekinah-Fernwood Masonic Lodge.
From 2002, he resided in Twining Village in Holland.
In addition to his son, Dr. Aronson is survived by another son, Solomon Joseph.
Services were held this month.