After 16 years of public service to the citizens of Humble, Merle Aaron has retired. Aaron was feted by the city’s numerous employees, as well as family and friends, at a luncheon Friday, May 7 at the Humble Civic Center.
Amid flowers, balloons, fajitas and cupcakes, City Manager Jason Steube, Harris County Commissioner Tom Ramsey and new Mayor Norman Funderburk reminisced and shared fond memories.
Aaron began his public duty as a council member; the last six years he served as mayor.
Steube joked that he has known four Humble mayors and “I can say, you are definitely among the top four.” Steube and Aaron led the city through several hurricanes, the pandemic and “other difficulties” but Stuebe had nothing but praise for Aaron.
“We’ve been through so much in the last few years,” Steube said, “but you were the right person at the right time. Your steady hand guided us at all times.” He also praised First Lady Linda Aaron for being a true and steadfast “rock” for the mayor.
Ramsey, a personal friend, commented that the two had been “at war” for years — at war with other county and state leaders over water issues, Metro and various legislation.
“There are 33 cities in Harris County that are not Houston. We have done our best to serve and protect those,” Ramsey said.
Funderburk, elected just days before to the mayoral spot after Aaron chose not to run for a fourth term, shared comments from residents who nominated Aaron for the McKay Citizen of the Year award, which he won in 2017.
Nominations praised Aaron for his selflessness, his servant heart, his honesty and integrity with a deep faith in Jesus Christ.
Aaron gently thanked his wife, fellow council members and friends but saved his highest accolades for the city employees.
“We have the best team possible. I thank each and every one of you for what you do for Humble,” Aaron said.
Funderburk ended with a smile.
“He leaves a deep legacy. Whoever follows behind him has big shoes to fill.”