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Aaron Joerger


1991 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Aaron Joerger Obituary
Aaron Maxwell Joerger

March 8, 1991 - October 18, 2013

SALEM - Aaron was born in Salem, Oregon to Lissa and Mark Joerger. He died at home from an apparent embolism a few weeks following surgery for a broken ankle. Aaron embraced life and he was just getting started on his adult journey.

Aaron's middle name was chosen when he was born and his father saw that he was a very big baby! It also referred to the famous mathematician James Maxwell. He sometimes went by "Max," a name that suited him well. Appropriately, Aaron loved math, a gift he shared with his father.

At nine he and his father teamed up to build combat robots. Aaron and Mark entered "Robotica", a multi-day competition that aired internationally on the Discover TV networks, and won the first season Grand Championship. Their success earned them two trips to London to compete in the hit BBC show "Robot Wars", where Aaron was interviewed by reporters from nations across Europe, and was featured on the Nickelodeon and Spike networks. At thirteen he competed at the Robot Fighting League National Championships, placing third against tough adult competition. For the last ten years he worked with his Dad to answer more than 4500 technical questions about robots from enthusiasts and builders around the world on his "Ask Aaron" website.

Aaron graduated in the class of 2009 from South Salem High, where he was the student manager for the football and basketball programs. He went on to graduate with honors from Chemeketa Community College as a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He had just begun his first weeks as a junior at Western Oregon University where he was enrolled as a Communications student with a minor in Sports Management. His career plan was to work in the business of sports and he had already secured a job at WOU as assistant to the equipment manager for the school's sports teams.

Aaron loved people. He liked nearly everyone he ever met and was very interested in learning all about them and remembered every detail. Writing poetry, listening to classic rock & roll and the blues as well as anything on NPR, reading science fiction and watching football, baseball, game shows and talk shows were some of his favorite activities. He enjoyed card games and online games that allowed him to interact socially with other players. Travel energized Aaron more than anything; he loved new places, people and experiences. Aaron was a happy, even exuberant child and young man.

When he was very young, he was diagnosed with Dyspraxia, a movement and sensory integration disorder that made everything he tried to do more difficult and time consuming. From moving his eyes along a line of print, to holding a pencil to write, to forming clear speech, Aaron had to work very, very hard - often to exhaustion. Tall and big enough to be a lineman or a basketball player, he did not have the athletic ability to play, although he delighted in supporting his teams and he did develop a mean game of Ping Pong.

Aaron faced his obstacles with perseverance, determination and hard work in therapies and at home, missing out on many normal activities of childhood. He never ever gave up, and by the time of his passing, he had overcome all but a few vestiges of his disability. He was a gentle, bright person; a loving, cheerful soul and our much-cherished only child.

He is survived by his loving parents and many friends.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to NPR, Marion County Food Bank, The Humane Society of the Willamette Valley or HOME youth center - organizations where Aaron volunteered or contributed.

Internment will be at City View cemetery on Friday October 25th at 11:00 a.m. A remembrance gathering will be held at Pringle Community Hall on Saturday, October 26th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Everyone who knew Aaron will be most welcome. Arrangements are by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.
Published in StatesmanJournal on Oct. 23, 2013
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