Aaron John Altman
  • 20 years old
  • Date of birth: May 20, 1994
  • Place of birth:
    Portland, Oregon, United States
  • Date of passing: Nov 1, 2014
Then you shall call and the Lord will answer; you shall cry and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ - Isaiah 58:9

Aaron John Altman
May 20, 1994 – November 1, 2014

Aaron John Altman of Portland, Oregon died suddenly November 1, 2014.

Aaron never hesitated to express his love to his family and many friends. His death has devastated us all but we know he is in God's hands. Aaron's death is out of life's natural order. It should not have happened, but it did happen. God created us to be eternal beings and we believe that in God's time it was the right time. Aaron is now in his heavenly home where we will one day be reunited with him.

Aaron was born in Portland, Oregon to Jason and Janet (Doerfler) Altman. He was currently enrolled as a sophomore at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon.

Along with his family, Aaron’s life was centered in a commitment to Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior. He was blessed with a wonderfully quirky sense of humor, a zest and appreciation for whatever came his way, and total loving acceptance of everyone he met. Aaron was the heart of his family and a joy to us all.

Aaron weathered some serious setbacks in his young life, including a high school football-related traumatic brain injury. With perseverance and hard work he recovered and attended George Fox University, where he made the Dean’s List his freshman year.

Aaron was enthusiastic about everything he did. He shared his passion for Christ in his work as a youth camp counselor at Beaverton Foursquare Church. He expressed his love of fashion while selling men’s clothing at Saks Fifth Avenue. Aaron also loved collecting special edition Nike shoes. 

Aaron is survived by his beloved family, parents Janet and Jason Altman, brother Zachary, and sister Lauren.

He is also survived by his great-grandmothers Frieda Cohen and Bebe Arnold and his grandparents John and Sally Doerfler and Tiger and Susan (Cohen) Branch. All were devoted to Aaron and he loved them enormously.

Aaron leaves a much-loved and close-knit extended family, including uncles and aunts Scott and Jill (Doerfler) Shoen, Mark and Kary (Keist) Doerfler, Robert and Elizabeth (Doerfler) Leighton, Anthony Altman, Joseph Altman, and Michael Altman, and beloved cousins Ryan Doerfler, Lexi Doerfler, Taylor Doerfler, and Calen Shoen. Aaron was pre-deceased by his grandfather Ty Altman.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Janet Altman on 29th April 2017

"To George Fox University and all of Aaron's amazing friends we thank you for all the love and support you have shown our family during this difficult weekend as Aaron would have been graduating this weekend, the class of 2017. No words could ever express our gratitude to this amazing school where Aaron definitely left his mark. Thank you George Fox for dedicating The 2017 Baccalaureate service in honor and remembrance of Aaron John Altman - 5/20/1994-11/01/2014."

This tribute was added by Janet Altman on 20th November 2016

"In your life, Aaron you touched so many.
In your death many lives were changed.
You were and are an amazing young man... a beautiful son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin  and friend .
Without you here, our lives will never be the same.
We miss you more than words could ever say.
Even more with each and every passing day.
We just hold onto the memories that we made, the love we shared every single day and
All the promises God so graciously has given us, we trust...
Resting assured when Jesus comes there will be no more sadness,
No more goodbyes, just life together eternally with Jesus by our side. Aaron John Altman you are forever loved with every breath we take and every moment of everyday❤We love you Aaron John Altman 5/20/1994- 11/01/ 2014, Our beautiful Angel❤️"

This tribute was added by Elizabeth Doerfler on 1st November 2016

"I cannot believe it has been two years, whoever says time makes it easier is so wrong. I miss you every day and love you more than ever."

This tribute was added by Squire Whitney on 1st November 2016

"Missing you today, Aaron!  Love you.  You inspire me to live my life for all it's worth. And to love people and to listen to them the way you did.  You are truly an exceptional person.


This tribute was added by julie long on 1st November 2016

"I was the men's manager at Saks and worked with Aaron daily.  I have to say he was impressive in so many ways.  He was a quick learner, kind, super with the clients, great taste, always looked very put together, positive and had a loyal following of clients that came back to see him time after time.  He was truly a kind person that is missed by so many people.
My thoughts and prayers are with your family & friends.  Julie"

This tribute was added by Scott Shoen on 1st November 2016

"My heart is heavy on this day each year.  Miss your smile and your wit and your compassion."

This tribute was added by Sally Doerfler on 21st May 2016

"Dear Aaron grandpa  and I are thinking of you at this special time.  Your presence is so real and powerful for us that we know you are keeping watch over all of our family. We miss you and love you every minute of every day. Happy Birthday and all our love"

This tribute was added by Janet Altman on 20th May 2016

"To our Beloved son & brother we wish you a Very Happy Birthday in Heaven.
We MISS you more than words can ever say. We long for the day that we will be reunited together as a family in Heaven. Keep shining your Love down on us!!!
GOD Bless You Aaron Altman"

This tribute was added by Joseph Altman on 20th May 2016

"Happy birthday Aaron. Miss you big-time buddy but I know your shining bright. Love you man!"

This tribute was added by Scott Shoen on 20th May 2016

"In memory of my nephew, Aaron, on his birthday.  Any gift I could give pales in comparison to the gifts he left his family and friends.  His light shines on in our hearts."

This tribute was added by Sally Doerfler on 1st November 2015

"How we miss our Aaron!  How we grieve with our entire family at his passing and our loss.  How we thank God that Aaron still comes to us and plays tricks on us, or surprises us with his presence!  How we watch his parents and siblings carry this cross with bravery and love. We love you Aaron!  Grandma and Grandpa"

This tribute was added by Janet Altman on 28th August 2015

""Family Chain"

We little knew that morning,
God was going to call your name.
In life we loved your dearly,
In death we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you,
You did not go alone,
For part of us went with you,
the day God called you home.

You left us beautiful memories,
Your love is still our guide
And though we cannot see you,
You are always by our side.

Our family chain is broken
And nothing seems the same
But as God calls us one by one
The chain will link again.

Author: Ron Tranmer"

This tribute was added by Janet Altman on 20th May 2015

"To our beautiful, Aaron. We love you and miss you so very much and on this very special day, your 21st Birthday we want you know how deeply you are loved ❤Birthday's in Heaven must be amazing and we want you to celebrate! God has given us 20 amazing years with you on this earth and we will celebrate your Birthday today and every year until we see you again! We love you Aaron John Altman, "our man of many talents."
Mom and Dad"

This tribute was added by Scott Shoen on 20th May 2015

""Speak of me in the easy way you always used.  Put no difference in your tone.  Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.  Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.  Let my name be the household word that it always was.  Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.  Life means all that it ever meant.  It is the same as it ever was.  There is absolute and unbroken continuity.  What is death but a negligible accident?  Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?  I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner."  
~ Henry Scott Holland, Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Oxford

I feel you near but do miss seeing your smile.  Love always, Uncle Scott."

This tribute was added by Janet Altman on 1st March 2015

"These are quotes from the Bible and Catholic Catechism that our family have found very comforting and hope will bring comfort to others.

"One day we shall joyfully greet Aaron again when the love of Christ, who conquers all things,destroys death itself."
"Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness."  What is our deepest longing at this moment?  Surely it is to meet Aaron once again one day!  Heaven holds that promise for us. Why else would God have placed this holy longing in our hearts?  He places the holy desires for eternal communion inside our hearts and He will not forsake us. Doesn't Jesus tell us "He is not a God of the dead, but of the living."(Mark 12:27) The God of Life put this desire in each of us and will see it realized. All we are asked to do is to trust Him and be faithful to Him. "Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ."  It did not say "some."  It says "All."  "All" includes your loved ones who have died in Him.  "In the glory of heaven, Aaron continues joyfully to fulfill God's will in relation to other men and to all creation."

Aaron not only waits for us to join him one day for all eternity in Heaven, but he is near to us now, helping lead us on our Christian journey.  Have you felt his presence with you since he died?  I even suspect he watches us more closely than ever before.  Pray to Aaron, and ask him to intercede for us especially during times of trial and trust that he will intercede for us and that we will be reunited again in Heaven. "Our Dearest Aaron may you intercede for us with all the saints in order that we too one day may join the great multitude before the throne of God," crying out, "Alleluia! Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God!"( Rev19:1)

Aaron John Altman, we miss you more and more everyday and  we love you more than life itself! We will continue to love and trust our amazing God who " holds all things together."  "He is the author and perfector of our faith," "What He starts He will complete, "  and we can't wait to join you in Heaven but until then we will never lose hope, never lose faith and everyday we will look forward to a reunion that you now have the privilege to see and we  wait with great expectation to join you. "And the angel said to me, Write this: "Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb."  And he said to me, "These are the true words of God."(Rev. 19:9)
We can't wait for that day, Aaron!!!

We love you,

Mom, Dad, Zachary and Lauren"

This tribute was added by Janet Altman on 11th January 2015

"Aaron was many things. He was a perfect gentleman, a faithful servant, a lover of Christ, and a lifetime friend, all while having striking style. But most importantly he was someone who made everybody feel like a somebody. His genuine spirit and loving heart is something that I'm sure has touched us all. Even though we only had the opportunity of knowing Aaron for a little over a year, we have been blessed with more memories than we could ever attempt to count. He became more than just a friend to all of us, he became a brother. He friend-zoned us just as deeply as we friend-zoned him, which allowed for a deep, honest friendship between us all. He was a part of our George Fox family and someone we could always count on for support, help, wing-manning, laughs, joy and adventures. One night Aaron came over to our house unexpectedly with ice cream and Oreos just to hang out and say thank you for something we had helped him with. He did not realize just how perfectly timed his visit was, but we were all so grateful and happy. I know, as a group, even though it was such a small thing and simple gesture, it is one of our favorite memories because it speaks to his loving, caring and beautiful personality. Aaron had a way of knowing when people needed something and would always be there to help in whatever way he could. Another time he came over and made us an amazing pulled-porked dinner. We all sat together and ate as a family. This is one of the only times we took a picture and it is a picture that we will always treasure. We bonded and grew over shared food and time spent together. Honestly, he probably knew more about us than he ever wanted too. We would talk about our days and our problems, work on homework and stay up late watching Nathan For You, one of Aaron's favorite TV shows. I think we all have learned something from Aaron about life. He taught us to live in the moment and enjoy time with people. He left us with a better understanding of what it means to follow Christ, love others and live a full life. We are so thankful for the time we were blessed by Aaron's friendship. He touched us more deeply than we could ever hope to share or explain. He truly is a saint. Aaron, we love you and you will always be in our hearts. Suit up in heaven Aaron until we meet again.
Cassidy, Ashley, Ruth, Bethany and Kristen"

This tribute was added by Jake Roth on 12th November 2014

"Aaron was one of my closest friends all throughout high school, and I have countless memories together with him. Many of my best times in the last four years were shared with him and the Altman's, and I'll always treasure these memories. Aaron, I can't believe you're gone, and I've put off writing this for a while as it has been tough to come to terms with. You made a huge impact on my life, and the lives of all those around you, and I learned a lot about what it means to be a true friend from you. Thank you for all the generosity you and your family have always shown me, and for the legacy you've left behind. I can't wait to join you up in heaven some day, but until then I'll miss you dearly."

This tribute was added by John Innes on 11th November 2014

"I taught Aaron his sophomore year at Valley Catholic. Aaron endeared himself in so many ways: always a smile on his face, always asked me how I was doing, always honest about his preparation, surprised me often with clever and accurate responses. His combination of dry yet forthcoming sound contributions in class, coupled with his keen attention to his attire earned him the nickname The Sharp Outfit. His popularity grew so much in class that when he wasn't present, the class's mood clearly reflected his absence.  Like his brother before him, Zach Altman the Common Man, and his sister Lauren Altman LA, he is a beautiful person, a true reflection of God. Undoubtedly I know Sharp Outfit is in the best place looking down on us with love, care, and guidance. We do not understand why these things happen except that God has plans, and we must simply love and appreciate what we were able to. Aaron, you are a beautiful person and a light I see in the stars. Thank you for being so kind to me and for being someone I loved to see every day I saw you."

This tribute was added by Scott Shoen on 9th November 2014

"At the funeral service yesterday, the church was full of people touched by Aaron during his life cut short.  The love and support was palpable and many fine tributes delivered by family and friends.  Thank you each for those.  It struck me that every word spoken about Aaron's gentleness, kindness, caring, love, friendship, generosity and playful mischief couldn't be more true.  And he always had a smile for everyone.  God holds his spirit and we who are left hold him in our hearts and cherish his memory.  I'll keep my eye out for your 2%, nephew, and smile with you when I see it."

This tribute was added by lori farley on 8th November 2014

"We are so incredibly saddened to hear about Aaron. May God be your comfort and your strength during this time of grief."

This tribute was added by Joseph Altman on 7th November 2014

"" Aaron my beautiful nephew I miss you dearly. I miss your big smile and giggle so much!  I hear your voice everywhere i go and it makes me feel at peace. Although my heart hurts so and my thoughts are with the family, i honestly believe you are in your rightful place. I know your work is not done here! I know you will watch over all of us. You will never leave my thoughts. I love you Aaron and i will see you again.""

This tribute was added by michael bellock on 7th November 2014

"So sorry for your loss.  Please know that my thoughts and payers are with you.  I know from personal experience the pain you are feeling and I know that you will find the strength to make it through."

This tribute was added by Martha Makosky on 7th November 2014

"I am so sorry for your loss.  What an unbelievable shock.  I can tell that the community of loved ones is coming together, and I hope that can sustain you through this difficult time."

This tribute was added by Amy Davis on 6th November 2014

"Aaron was an amazingly kind hearted friend. He was a gentleman. I remember him walking me from class across campus to my dorm even though it was way out of his way on multiple occasions. He loved to talk and would start up a conversation at any given opportunity. Even when we were just acquaintances through getting to know each other at the Wallace's, he would always at the very least make an effort to say hi whenever we crossed paths. This year Aaron and I got the chance to get to know each other better and become friends. I am so thankful for that. He was my class buddy. We always sat together and debated on different theories when our professor gave us the opportunity to do so. He would encourage me to share my ideas or theories in class, and was always happy to discuss them with me outside of class. You don't encounter many people who are willing to spend so much time contemplating such deep and drawn out theories, but Aaron was a relentless thinker and debater. At the same time, he was so soft spoken and kind in the ideas he presented. I could never picture him angry or ill-spirited. He was passionate about theology and Augustine's writings and it was so motivating to see. I remember just last week thinking about how much less enjoyable that class would have been for me if I didn't have Aaron, as he was a familiar face that soon became a friend. He was a friend, a gentleman, and a faithful man of God. My heart aches at the loss of such a wonderful person, but I am joyful that he is in eternal bliss, experiencing the riches of our Father's Heaven. My friend is home with our Father and one day I will go home and see him again. Aaron Altman, you will never be forgotten in the hearts of your friends and family who loved you and cared for you so dearly. I miss you, and I look forward to seeing you again. Enjoy paradise my friend."

This tribute was added by linda lusky on 6th November 2014

"I enjoyed working with Aaron and thought he was such an amazing kid to work through his injury and come back so strong.  He was so wonderful I looked forward to seeing him every day I worked with him on his studies.  God bless you and help you as you walk these days of sadness.  Linda"

This tribute was added by MaryAnn Ellis on 6th November 2014

"I didn't know Aaron on a personal level, but I always noticed the kind, welcoming, and intelligent type of person he was. I admired him for all of his ideas and the things that he would say in our management. He was a great mind and a great guy to have known, even if it was just a little. I'm glad he is with the Lord in a place of bliss. Prayers for his family and those close to him."

This tribute was added by Austen Matos on 6th November 2014

"I remember Aaron from church camps when I was younger. I remember him as a tendered spirit, with a small, shy smile on his face as he would walk around with his hands in his pockets. I always thought of him as an incredibly sweet and shy human being. I never knew him on a personal level, but even from those few memories of him, I can't explain how much sorrow I have. He is now on his way to another beautiful life, and will be waiting for his loved ones when their time comes. Peace to anyone who may be hurting, and Peace to Aaron."

This tribute was added by Jana Purcell on 5th November 2014

"He always had a smile on his face in high school. Even if he never met you before he'd greet you as if you were a long time friend. That kind of personality is one to be cherished. The world lost a great young man."

This tribute was added by mary ann ware on 5th November 2014

"As a lifelong family friend, I watched Aaron Altman grow into a handsome, kind, smart and engaging young man.  His death is unthinkable, but I know that his spirit will live on especially whenever his family gathers."

This tribute was added by Victoria Cato on 5th November 2014

"Dear Altman Family,
I really enjoyed working with Aaron for home instruction while he was recovering from his TBI.  He was a joy to work with and his presence just lit up a room.  I am so sorry to hear of his passing.  May his spirit always be with you.  I know that his life touched so many.  I wish you blessings during this difficult time."

This tribute was added by Calen Shoen on 5th November 2014

"To see the thousands of people touched by Aaron is truly incredible. He is the kind of person who brought light to the lives of everyone he met, wether they are a life-long friend, or a local grocery store clerk. His loving spirit and adventurous nature touched us all and it makes me happy to know that a little bit of Aaron will live on in so many of our lives. So as you watch us from above Aaron, know that you will always be a part of each and every one of us."

This tribute was added by Jill Shoen on 4th November 2014

"We are making a slideshow of all of our amazing memories with Aaron. We have lots of family photos but still need photos of the wonderful times he shared with friends. please upload your photo(s) to Aaron's own cloud — "Aaron Altman Memorial Photos" at http://j.mp/1sestOj."

This tribute was added by Charlie Walton on 4th November 2014

"Hey Aaron,
I'm missing you a lot man. You were one of the most amazing guys I've ever met. I am so fortunate to be blessed with the times we got to spend together. Being with your family has helped me grow in so many ways. I know you're doing so many great things up in heaven, being the most amazing guardian angel to all your loved ones. There is a common theme throughout your family, love and faith. You all are so strong. I know you're suiting up and making where you are an amazing place for your family. Cannot wait to see you again, I'm thinking about you everyday.
Love you with all my heart.
Rest in peace."

This tribute was added by LeAnn Wessel Hilchen on 4th November 2014

"To Aaron's family, May God wrap you in His loving arms and comfort you with His peace. No matter how great your pain God is by your side and will not leave you. As  Aaron's kindergarten teacher I remember his smile and kind-hearted personality. Memories of him will not be forgotten."

This tribute was added by Brianna Chase on 4th November 2014

"I always knew that when I greeted Aaron Altman, he would welcome me with gladness. One of the last things we talked about was when he asked me if I'd buy some lemonade from his little table stand in the quad this semester, which I kindly refused on my way to class :)

Aaron, I'd sit in the Penn lobby listening to the way you processed different subject matters with peers, which provided for me a glimpse into your attention to justice and treating people with respect, especially women. I know you will be missed. See you soon.

I chose a candle to represent his light, serving as a reminder that Christ dwells in us."

This tribute was added by Brian Willard on 4th November 2014

"The circumstances of this situation are very sad. God rest your soul and God bless your family. From up here in Seattle, an entire community is saddened by this tragic accident."

This tribute was added by Jere Witherspoon on 4th November 2014

"I met Aaron last spring in the Student Life Office at George Fox.  His sweet and kind spirit was evident to me in our brief encounter.  I am so sorry for your loss.  My prayers are with all his family and friends."

This tribute was added by Jill Shoen on 4th November 2014

"I have so many wonderful memories of you growing up, Aaron.  You were always so quick to smile and give me a hug.  I think of our crazy fun family vacations— Hawaii, Mexico, Whistler, Sunriver, France. I miss you so much..."

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This memorial is administered by:

Jill Shoen
Zachary Altman


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