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Aaron Monagle-Olson

June 3, 1974 ~ August 17, 2018 (age 44)

Aaron Arthur Monagle-Olson, June 3, 1974 – August 17, 2018

Aaron Arthur Monagle-Olson, age 44, died on August 17, 2018, after a 26-month battle with cholangiocarcinoma, a rare liver cancer.  Aaron was surrounded by his loving family at home in Berkeley, California, when he took his last breath.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, to David and Roberta (Knickrehm) Olson, Aaron grew up in St. Louis and Overland Park, Kansas. His childhood was busy, filled with hobbies, work and friends, which he made easily.  Aaron was a soccer player at Brittany Woods Middle School in University City, Missouri, and Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park. He earned money mowing lawns with his brother, Daniel; worked in a stained-glass store in Overland Park; and as a bagger at the local grocery store. He was a drummer and section leader in his school bands, and an Eagle Scout. (He often said that the 10-day backcountry trip required for his  Eagle Scout badge was enough camping for a lifetime.)

But most of all, Aaron spent many hours building ever-more-complicated Lego creations. That love carried on into adulthood, both in his career as an architect and as a hobby. He shared that passion, along with Star Wars movies and Harry Potter books, with his children.  This summer, he built the super-sized Lego Millennium Falcon and was proud -- and disappointed -- that it had not been more challenging for him.

Aaron studied in Germany, Italy and Spain as part of his graduate and undergraduate education. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a Master’s degree in Architecture in 2000 and worked for a variety of architecture firms during his career.  At the time of his death, he was employed in a job he loved at the Hellmuth Obata and Kassabaum (HOK) office in San Francisco.

In 2002, Aaron married the love of his life, Katherine Monagle-Olson. They have two children Amelia Merritt, age 12,  and Milo David, age 6. 

Aaron was a thoughtful, caring individual. He left behind many close friends and loved ones. A reading for his memorial services reflected his thoughts: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Aaron was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Arthur and Irma Olson of Groton, South Dakota; his maternal grandparents, Robert and Inez Knickrehm of Groton;  his father, David of Brookings, South Dakota, in 2016; and his father-in-law, Merritt Monagle of Prescott, Arizona. 

He leaves behind his loving wife, Katie, and children Amelia and Milo of Berkeley; his mother, Roberta, of Brookings; brother Daniel Olson, sister in law, Cathryn, and son Gregory of Baltimore, Maryland; and in-laws (mother) Katherine (Reed) Monagle and (sister) Ann Monagle of Prescott. Aaron also leaves behind his many aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and colleagues at HOK.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 1, 2018, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Groton, South Dakota, at 10:30 a.m. His cremains will be buried in the Olson Family Plot in the Groton Union Cemetery. Another memorial is planned for a later date in Berkeley, California.

In lieu of flowers, memorials for Aaron can be directed to The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation (www.cholangiocarcinoma.org; 5526 West 13400 South, #510, Herriman, UT 84096), or to Roberta Olson for the children’s college fund with Thrivent Financial.

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