Erica Portnoy Aronin, 59, passed away Feb. 26, 2021, 5 ½ years after first being diagnosed with cancer. During that time she continued to live life to the fullest with unmatched determination and enthusiasm while inspiring so many.
Born in a New York City hospital, Erica liked to say she was from New York, where she spent the first 24 hours of her life before moving to join the rest of her family in Englewood, N.J. She and her family subsequently moved to Charleston, S.C., and Charlotte, N.C., where she graduated from Charlotte Country Day School. While in high school, Erica served as BBYO District 5 Nsiah.
After graduating from Ohio State University, Erica moved to Atlanta in 1984 and began what became an incredibly successful sales career at MCI/Verizon, first interrupted by a nine-year retirement to focus her time on raising her family and finally retiring after her cancer diagnosis in 2015.
Family and friends were the center of Erica’s universe. She and husband Don married in 1994 and instantly became a family of three as Erica embraced her new role as daughter Kelsey’s “bonus mom.” With the birth of Carly in 1995 and Cassidy in 1997, Erica was a dynamo as she invested herself 100 percent in her roles of wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend and, ultimately, grandmother.
Erica had a unique intrinsic ability to make anyone who was around her feel like they were the most important person in the world to her. She exuded a genuine warmth, modesty, sincerity and positive outlook, along with a smile that would light up the room, which instantly attracted people to her. To know Erica was to be loved by her and her many friends and family will continue to be inspired by her memory every day.
Erica’s cancer diagnosis led her to Emory Winship Cancer Institute, which became another passion of hers. It wasn’t enough for Erica to just be a patient at Winship. Her “Lungs ‘N Roses” team continues to raise money for Winship every year and everyone on her team always looked forward to the new T-shirt design for the annual Winship 5K. Whether it was becoming a patient family advisor, participating in the annual Winship fashion show, sitting for a recorded promotional interview session or serving as a speaker for staff orientation, Erica was committed to doing everything she could to help make Winship the best possible cancer treatment center.
Erica is survived by beloved husband Don; her daughters Kelsey (Geoffrey), Carly and Cassidy; and her grandson Mason.
In addition, Erica is survived by her mother Marilyn Goldsmith; her father and stepmother Gil and Lynne Portnoy; her sister Suzanne Denberg (David); her brothers David Portnoy (Devorah) and Mark Portnoy; and numerous nieces and nephews who adored their Auntie Erica.
Donations may be made in Erica’s memory to Emory Winship Cancer Institute or Temple Sinai. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.