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Aaron J. Esala

Aaron J. Esala

Aaron Joseph Esala, age 26 of Oxnard, CA, formerly Ashland, WI, passed away on September 5, 2018, as the result of a tragic motorcycle accident in Littlerock, CA.

Aaron was born on October 2, 1991, in Cloquet, MN, the son of Gerald J. and Ann F.(Johnson) Esala. He attended Ashland High School, where he excelled at football, track, and powerlifting. After graduating in 2010, he attended the University of Minnesota in Duluth, where he was a member of the 2010 NCAA Division II National Championship football team. Aaron returned to Ashland and worked at Carlson Building Products, where his co-workers nicknamed him the "Human Forklift."

In November of 2013, Aaron enlisted in the United States Navy and was, at the time of his death, a UT2 (Utilitiesman Petty Officer Second Class). Like his great-grandfather Wilho E. Esala, Aaron was a member of the Seabees. During his time in the Navy, Aaron was stationed in Greece, Diego Garcia, and Timor Leste. Aaron's fellow Seabees affectionally referred to him as "Truck."

On September 1, 2018, surrounded by hundreds of loving family members and friends, Aaron was united in marriage to Amber J. Ovaska in Ashland. He and his wife were returning to Port Hueneme in California in anticipation of moving to his new assignment in Texas.

Survivors include his wife, Amber, of California and Ashland, WI; his mother, Ann Esala of Superior, WI;father and stepmother, Jerry and Shannon Esala of Ashland, WI; brothers, Justin and Logan Esala of Ashland, WI; father- and mother-in-law, Scott and Vicki Ovaska of Marengo, WI; brother-in-law, David Ovaska of Marengo, WI; grandparents, Carol Esala of Centennial, CO, Gene Esala of Englewood, FL, and Frances Kuester of Ashland, WI; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Aaron was preceded in death by his grandparents, Richard "Dick" and Vieno "Vi"Johnson; his grandfather, David "Duke" Kuester; and his dear friend, Grant Kamunen.

A funeral service for Aaron will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 15, at the Ashland High School gymnasium with Pastor Rick Williams officiating. Visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m. until the hour of service.

Interment will take place in Mount Hope Cemetery in Ashland.

The Mountain Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Ashland and Mellen, WI, is assisting Aaron's family. In lieu of flowers, the family will be establishing a memorial fund in Aaron's name to be

determined at a later date.

Online condolences for Aaron's family may be left at