Eric Christopher Aarseth, 20, of Tualatin, Oregon, passed away peacefully on Monday, September 3, 2018, at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center RiverBend in Springfield, Oregon, surrounded by family, many friends, and loved ones. He had just returned home from fighting wildfires in southern Oregon and northeastern Washington. Sadly, he contracted pneumonia during his last deployment and later succumbed to complications as his pneumonia became septic.
Eric was born in Portland on July 17, 1998, and grew up in Tualatin, where he graduated from Tualatin High School in 2016. While growing up, he played baseball, football, ran track (cross-country) and wrestled. Eric thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors and lived life to the fullest at every opportunity. He enjoyed traveling and taking many road trips with his father, Chris, and brother, Jake. He was also part of an educational European tour, and one summer he was able to visit Italy, Spain, and the French Riviera. He enjoyed camping, hiking, and skateboarding. His real passion seemed to be found in the outdoors, as he spent the summer working for Northwest Youth Corps helping to rebuild sections of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail in the wilderness area of Idaho. He also talked of changing his major to forestry, while studying business at college. He was thrilled and passionate about being a wildland firefighter for the summer and fought bravely among many of his fellow firefighters from Miller Timber Services. Even after returning home, Eric wanted to go on one last deployment before school started, but unfortunately that dream didn’t come true, due to his illness.
Eric is survived by his father, Christopher, and stepmother, Cheryl Aarseth, of Scappoose; mother, Lisa (Davis) Aarseth, and brother, Jake, both of Tualatin; his aunt, Eva Bugarin, of Las Vegas, Nevada; uncle, Rolf Aarseth, of Anchorage, Alaska; uncles, Matt Davis and Tony Springer, of Phoenix, Arizona; his grandfather, Carl, and step-grandmother, Gloria Davis, of Bend. He was predeceased by his grandparents, Herbert and Gloria Aarseth, and his grandmother, Charlotte Davis.
Eric will always be a hero in the eyes of his family, friends, and many people. He courageously fought both the Garner Mountain Complex Fire in southern Oregon and the Horn Mountain Fire in northeastern Washington, saving many homes, lives, and wildlife. He was also proud to be an organ donor, and in his passing was able to contribute organs, tissue, and more to others in need of transplants. For just being 20 years old, Eric lived a life full of adventure and compassion for others, leaving behind an amazing legacy that will never be forgotten.