Aaron L. Stansbury, 52, state official

June 08, 1999|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Aaron L. Stansbury, assistant director of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Unit in the state comptroller's office and former executive secretary of the Baltimore liquor board, died Thursday of pneumonia at St. Agnes HealthCare. He was 52 and lived in Northwest Baltimore.

Mr. Stansbury was appointed to the state position by Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein in 1996.

Before then, he had worked for the Baltimore Board of Liquor License Commissioners, beginning as deputy executive secretary in 1968. In 1989, he was named executive secretary and director.

"Aaron brought his extensive knowledge of alcohol beverage law, which are among the most complex laws in Maryland," said Charles W. Ehart, director of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Unit. "He was able to assist me in complex cases as well as in industrial relations."

He described Mr. Stansbury as "a man whose integrity was beyond reproach" and who was so dedicated to his job "that I couldn't get him to take a day off."

Mr. Stansbury was well-known in the State House in Annapolis and appeared often before legislative committees to offer testimony or explain agency policies.

He was 21 when he joined the city liquor board. "I just could drink [legally] when I came here, though I don't drink," Mr. Stansbury told The Evening Sun in a 1989 interview.

At the liquor board, he was known for his sense of fairness in dealing with residents, tavern owners and lawyers.

"He was adept at handling political forces as well as people," said Nathan C. Irby, executive secretary of the liquor board and former city councilman and state senator. "He was a tremendous human being and a principled man, who always took the time to listen to people."

Janet Schroeder, deputy executive secretary, said: "Aaron was always very patient and fair. I never saw him unkind or rude. He had the patience of Job when it came to dealing with recalcitrant licensees."

Mr. Stansbury, who was born and raised on Guilford Avenue near 25th Street, was a 1964 graduate of Douglass High School. He received an associate's degree in business management from the Community College of Baltimore in 1973; a bachelor's degree in public administration and management at the University of Baltimore in 1977; and a master's degree from St. Mary's Seminary and University in 1987.

He had been executive secretary-treasurer of the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators and was active in the affairs of Providence Baptist Church in West Baltimore, where he had been a deacon for 15 years and a religion instructor.

He had been a board member of The Chimes; the Health and Welfare Council of Maryland; and the youth ministries division of the American Baptist Churches of the South.

Services will be held at 6: 30 p.m. today at Providence Baptist Church, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave.

He is survived by a son, Aaron L. Stansbury Jr. of Randallstown; a daughter, April L. Stansbury of Baltimore; two brothers, Maynard Q. Stansbury of Baltimore and William H. Stansbury of Albany, Ga.; and two sisters, Miriam L. Carter and Jacqueline M. Thomas, both of Baltimore.


Because of limited space and the large number of requests for obituaries, The Sun regrets that it cannot publish all the obituaries it receives. Because The Sun regards obituaries as news, we give a preference to those submitted within 48 hours of a person's death. It is also our intention to run obituaries no later than seven days after death.

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