Aaron Peter Carreon

Aaron Peter Carreon, 28, of Readyville, Tennessee was born at Eglin Air Force Base (Fort Walton Beach), Florida on Saturday, June 17, 1995 to his loving parents, Peter and Sandra. Though they thought Aaron was their son, his two older sisters, Alyssa and Tahnee, made sure they knew to whom Aaron really belonged. With a 5 year gap between Aaron and the girls, it was like getting a built-in baby doll. Tahnee called him “My Aaron” from the day he was born, but both girls doted on him constantly.

The Carreon family headed from the East Coast to the West Coast when Peter received his transfer orders to Los Angeles Air Force Base in California. Aaron was about 1.5 years old when they left Florida, but he already had grown into his personality. Growing up he had broad interests, would talk to anyone, made friends easily, and laughed and smiled all the time. His diverse aptitudes and living the military lifestyle made Peter and Sandra decide to homeschool the kids. So from 2nd grade until the end of high school, Aaron had the freedom to follow his interests and passions while also getting to sleep a little bit later in the mornings.

Sandra made the most of homeschooling, taking a hands-on approach to the children’s education. Field trips were a frequent occurrence, and after seeing the delight Aaron had playing with legos, Sandra thought a field trip to the newly opened LEGOLAND in Carlsbad, California would be a hit. However, the outcome was much to the contrary. In each photo of an intricate and well-crafted display, little Aaron was not smiling. All he could see was roped off displays that he wasn’t allowed to touch or even get close enough to see how it was built.

Luckily for Sandra, Aaron could fall asleep in the car in less than 5 minutes, and after a nap and a snack, he was good to go back to being the happy and active little boy he normally was. Yet, Aaron’s desired activities weren’t what you would guess right off the bat. His parents tried to get him interested in playing sports, but being on a co-ed team, he was more interested in talking to the girls than playing. Rather than athletics, Aaron enjoyed working the major muscles in his body – his heart and his brain, and often, those workouts were intertwined.

At heart, Aaron was a philosopher. If you were talking to him, he had questions. He questioned, pondered, and analyzed everything from a young age. Most people lean toward using one side of their brain or the other, but Aaron proved to be capable and willing to use both sides. The analytical and the creative intertwined and were driven by the passion in his heart. As a child, he could do anything from play the guitar to build a cat house.

If it made his heart sing, Aaron was all in. He enjoyed helping around the house and doing more of the technical chores. He loved rescuing animals, especially stray cats, and providing them a better life. He took pride in dressing for the occasion and was quite the dapper dresser. He searched for opportunity to create and would get pipe cleaners and make figurines that he called “doingies” that were good enough to be in the stores. He craved a thrill and did anything from skateboarding to skydiving.

With his broad interests and abilities, it was difficult when it came time for Aaron to choose what direction he wanted to take his life. After his car was stolen, he used his charm and negotiation skills to talk Peter and Sandra into helping him get a sports car. That acted as a catalyst for his appreciation for vehicles and helped guide his educational journey. He started off studying auto mechanics, and his outside of school lessons took off like a rocket. From simple maintenance to clutch modifications to engine work, Aaron could visualize and rationalize what needed to be done to get the vehicle where he wanted it.

Losing interest in the slow classroom setting, Aaron decided to go back to his delight for building and took some classes in architecture. He used a class project to further his interest in building a tiny home and even developed the blueprints and built a scaled replica. His liberal arts education took an eclectic route to learning specific skills, but rather than being enthralled by it, Aaron became frustrated. The detours for general education credits chipped away at his patience. While he was passionate, he didn’t want to spend a small eternity in school when he could already be doing something to make a difference.

Aaron decided to satisfy his needs for invention and creation through other means and began working at Chipotle. He quickly moved up the ranks into a managerial role but discovered an opportunity to be his own boss. Leaving Chipotle, Aaron began working for Uber, setting his own hours and picking which jobs he took. Then, 2020 came and COVID shut down a lot of the work. Since everyone was staying home and ordering online, Aaron made the logical decision to start working for Amazon.

Hired to work in mechatronics, Aaron was sent to Pennsylvania for 3 months of training and then transferred to Kentucky. He only remained there for a short while before requesting to be transferred to Tennessee. Peter and Sandra had made their way over to Tullahoma, and Aaron missed being close to his family. Tennessee offered many opportunities in terms of work, interests, and hobbies. An avid hiker, the range of hiking trails enticed Aaron’s spirit for adventure. In previous years, he had made the treks out to Columbia, Peru, Thailand, and Mexico, but Tennessee had enough to keep him occupied the last 2 years of his life.

Aaron returned to his questioning mind and started back at school. He was studying philosophy and psychology and enjoyed having deep conversations with classmates and friends. That ability to draw people to him and make friends never faded, and those closest to him he aimed to treat the best. The VIP treatment often came through Aaron’s culinary experimentation. Aaron liked to surprise people, and he would invite friends over for a gourmet meal.

There was also growth in his musical roots. He started playing the ukelele in addition to his guitar and introduced Sandra to Christian reggae music. In his younger days, he was baptized at Gateway Fellowship (now New Life Foursquare Church) in Harbor City, California, and he held on to that belief in God throughout his life. With his mind always thinking and working night shift, there was no telling how many silent conversations he had with God. From strumming on the strings to tweaking his car, Aaron gave himself ample alone time to chase rabbits in his mind and spend time acknowledging the Higher Power.

Most of all, Aaron was someone who gave of himself rather than taking. Even when he needed help, he focused on giving to others, but there were two things he couldn’t deny he was given. His “why” came from Peter. Peter and Aaron were kindred spirits when it came to setting their minds to something. If they did, they were committed to accomplishing it. Now, Aaron would accomplish things in his own unique way, but the “why” behind it was the same sense of honor and duty that Peter had when he made a decision.

The second thing he couldn’t deny was he got his “how” from Sandra. They were two peas in a pod working with their hands. His helping hands and artistic abilities came from her. If either of them were working on a project, you knew their heads, hearts, and hands would be involved. Having his “why” and his “how” gave Aaron a leap ahead of people, but he still was searching for his “what” and his “who.” What was he supposed to do? Who was he?

The constraints of life seemed to keep kicking him back to the drawing board on figuring out those two questions. He felt stuck in the middle of life and finding out what all of his potential was really for. It was like being back in LEGOLAND where he could visualize the finished product, but he couldn’t get close enough to touch it or see how it was built. He was grateful for life, for family, and for friends, and Aaron made peace with his wondering before he left this life on Thursday, May 2, 2024.

Preceding him in death were his grandparents, Maximino and Nelia Carreon and Jerry Gates. He is survived by his parents, Peter and Sandra Carreon of Tullahoma; sisters, Alyssa (Christopher) Freeman of Colorado and Tahnee (José) Hallgrimson of California; grandmother, Ruth Gates; nephew, Elijah Freeman; niece, Kaylee Freeman; countless close friends (too many to name, but even if you only knew him for a day or even just a few hours, know that he considered you a close friend and cared deeply for you); and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Visitation will be Saturday, June 8, 2024 from 10-11 am at Gentry-Smith Funeral Home. A Celebration of Life will follow on Saturday, June 8, 2024 at 11 am in the Gentry-Smith Funeral Home chapel. John Carreon will officiate.

The family wants to honor Aaron’s habit of putting others before himself. The homeless population and stray/rescue animals were near and dear to his heart. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a charity, shelter, or rescue of your choice that supports homeless people or animals.

Share memories and condolences at www.gentrysmithfuneralhome.com Gentry-Smith Funeral Home, 303 Murfreesboro Rd. Woodbury, TN 37190, 615-563-5337 Because every life has a story