Aaron Joseph Skahill, 28, of Memphis, Tenn., died on August 29, 2022 of gastroesophageal cancer.
He was born in Beverly on June 6, 1994, immediately after his twin brother Samuel. Aaron was raised in coastal Swampscott by his parents Brona Pinnolis and John Skahill, alongside his twin and two older siblings Hannah and Reuben. Here Aaron developed a deep love of dogs, nature, Boston sports, and made many lasting friendships at his Jewish Day School.
In 2004, Aaron moved with his family to Memphis, Tenn. Aaron embraced this new hometown and made lifelong friendships from his time in Jewish Day and public schools. His love of exploration and nature collided when he began attending Camp Sabra in the Ozarks where he later served as camp counselor.
He graduated from Germantown High School in 2012. After graduating, Aaron participated in Aardvark Israel, a gap year program, and eventually made aliyah, gaining dual citizenship. It was during his time in Israel that he discovered his love for scuba diving.
In 2013, Aaron met one of his best friends and lifelong partners, his dog, Flama. She accompanied him on many adventures across the United States and through all seasons. Flama was also Aaron’s constant companion throughout his illness, traveling with him to and from Boston for treatment.
After his time in Israel, Aaron decided to move back and began establishing his life in the Boston area, where he was diagnosed in 2019. Despite this diagnosis and its resulting treatments, Aaron decided to pursue his love of adventure and return to scuba diving with his twin brother Sam. He was able to log 81 dives in total. As he continued diving, Aaron refined his skill as an underwater life photographer, capturing images of sea life from Hawaii to Central America to the Caribbean.
In 2021, Aaron returned to Memphis. He often ventured throughout his local neighborhood on his e-bike with Flama in tow, either running alongside him or riding in her trailer. Despite his illness, Aaron took up bouldering at the Memphis Rox gym where he continued to set and reach new goals.
Aaron never saw himself as the inspirational type, but trailblazers rarely do. He lived the example of an active life despite tremendous setbacks, inspiring the hashtag from his community #LiveLikeAaron.
In addition to his parents and siblings, Aaron is also survived by his beloved nephew Ezra Skahill, who brought him much delight.
Aaron leaves a legacy of open arms – for people, places, experiences and, of course, dogs. Those who wish to honor Aaron’s memory can do so by donating to either the Aaron Adventure Fund (camp scholarship fund), care of Jewish Community Partners of Memphis, or Debbie’s Dream, a fund devoted to advances in stomach cancer research and advocacy.