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In Memoriam – Aileen Baron

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Aileen G. Baron, associate professor emeritus of anthropology who crafted a second career as a writer of archaeological mysteries, died March 2. She was 90.

The scholar, who earned her bachelor’s degree at CSUF, served the campus community for 20 years, retiring in 1992. During her tenure on campus, Baron helped establish and served as director of the Museum of Anthropology, where students served as exhibit curators. The Anthropology Teaching Museum, as it is now known, was moved to its current home in McCarthy Hall in 1999.

Following her retirement from the University, she decided to take some writing classes. As research for her creative endeavors, Baron used her years of archaeological fieldwork all over the world, including a year as a National Endowment of the Humanities scholar at the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. Her first fiction effort was a short story for the literary magazine Zyzzyva, which earned her, she remembered, “$50 and a T-shirt.”

Her first book, “A Fly Has a Hundred Eyes,” was published in 2002. She would go on to write four more mysteries, including “Return of the Swallow,” published in 2012.