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Aaron’s Story

This is for the Insley boys- Aaron and Richard- who were in an auto accident in the early hours of Nov. 25th, 2007, near their home in Lake Elmo. Richard, 23, did not survive. Aaron, now 29, was hospitalized in St. Paul and continued his recovery in Red Wing. He came home on Nov. 11th, 2008. Aaron is stable, healthy, and receives excellent care. He remains in a minimally conscious state with the effects of a severe traumatic brain injury.

Aaron and Richard were very close and shared many of the same interests and friends. They were both avid mountaineers, having climbed Granite Peak, the highest summit in Montana, with their dad on separate trips.

Richard was a recent graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, and was currently working as a bank teller. He was engaged to be married in April and was thinking of going to law school. We share in our grief with his fiancee, Jenn, and hold her in our prayers.

Aaron was a senior at Gustavus Adolphus as a geography major, and planned to go to MSU-Mankato fall 2007 for a graduate degree.

Aaron has made an amazing recovery in the first year and continues to heal from a head injury. Our hopes are very high for his continued progress at home. Thanks for your continued letters of encouragement and support, and for all the prayers for Aaron and our family.

Latest Journal Update

Granite Peak Day

August 24, 2007 at the Cowboy Bar & Supper Club in Fishtail, Montana, celebrating reaching the summit of Granite Peak on Aug 23rd.

August 24, 2007 at the Cowboy Bar & Supper Club in Fishtail, Montana, celebrating reaching the summit of Granite Peak on Aug 23rd.

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Today we celebrate “Granite Peak Day” in the Insley home. We are marking the anniversary of the boys’ successful summit climbs on
August 23rd-- in 1999 for Richard, and the same day for Aaron in 2007. We hadn’t noticed the similarity until we were planning Tom’s first return trip in 2008 with some of Richard’s ashes. This photo, taken the day
after reaching the summit in 2007, shows Aaron at the “Cowboy Bar & Supper Club” in Fishtail, Montana. Tom and Richard had started the
tradition, celebrating with steak & salad—plus Moose Drool beer and a Bloody Mary added by Aaron—at the first sign of civilization after the climb. Today, we are having the same menu for dinner, with a toast to the boys. Sounds like a great way to celebrate!

Aaron is still having a good summer, enjoying many afternoons on the porch, plus a few appointments here and there. The Granite House project is making progress—lots of things happening on many different fronts. Keep posted to our Facebook page for weekly updates.