Aaron Christian Bonner was born December 9, 1983 in Cincinnati, OH to Mrs. Robin Bonner-Waldon and Mr. Ronald A. Jones. He always brought joy and laughter to his family. Aaron’s faith in God began at an early age and he was baptized at Jerriel Missionary Baptist Church. In his youth he was an active participant in many ministries in the church including the youth choir, God’s Squad, and the gospel group 1018. Aaron was described as a respectful child that had a kind heart and warm personality. His smile lit up a room even then.
Aaron attended Winton Forrest Elementary School and St. Xavier High School where he was a focused student and an athlete with his preferred sports being baseball and track. After graduating from high school in 2002 Aaron was accepted and went on to the historic Howard University in Washington, DC. While there,Aaron’s major of study was Advertising and Public Relations at the John H.Johnson School of Communications. Aaron was very active in college life and activities from the very beginning. He was a member of his freshman dorm council, involved in the Howard University Student Association, a member of the Campus Pals which is a freshman mentoring organization and became a member of Alpha Phi Omega, National Service Fraternity, Inc.
It was after his freshman year of college in 2003 that Aaron was diagnosed with Nasal Pharyngeal Carcinoma (NPC) which is an extremely rare form of cancer. In spite of this diagnosis Aaron chose to fight and with his faith in God he believed that whatever God chose for his life he would accept it. With the support of his family and friends Aaron fought the good fight for 5 long years. During that time Aaron was committed to completing his degree at Howard and it was that determination that inspired an entire university. Although Aaron experienced periods of remission it was news that the cancer had spread to his liver that let him know his battle was coming to an end. Aaron chose to live his last days in celebration and not despair. Aaron lived by the mantra “ Ready When You Are” and on July 2, 2008 at 11:50pm he peacefully left this world with family and friends at his bedside.
In the wake of his death the student body rallied around each other and his family and with their determination and hard work Aaron’s dream cam true as he was awarded a posthumous degree by Howard University during the Spring 2009 commencement ceremony. He was memorialized by the placement of a brick in his honor by the John H. Johnson School of Communication.