A.J. Boren was a close friend, mentor

Thursday, January 23, 2014 | 7:13 p.m. CST; updated 7:25 p.m. CST, Thursday, January 23, 2014

COLUMBIA – A.J. Boren was always quick with a joke and managed to find something in common with everyone, his friends said.

"He would help you with any problem, no matter how dark," his close friend Robbie Shutt said. "He brought me out of my shell as my mentor and best friend, and without him I couldn’t have made it this far at Mizzou."

Aaron Jerald Boren of Jackson, Tenn., died Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. He was 22 years old and studying at MU.

Mr. Boren was born Dec. 29, 1991, to Ricky and Donna Boren. He earned his Eagle Scout rank when he was 14 years old and was the 12- to 16-year-old Tennessee Tae Kwon Do champion in 2006.

He graduated from the Missouri Military Academy in 2010 as a first lieutenant with high honors.

"A.J. was a bright young man who did very well academically and made many friends here," MMA spokeswoman Christine Smith said. "He was active with the yearbook and the school newspaper, carrying his camera with him wherever he went to document athletic games and school activities."

Friends remember Mr. Boren for his kindness and generosity. 

Mr. Boren is survived by his parents, Ricky and Donna Boren; his sister Abigail Pearson and her husband, Giles Pearson; his sister Ellie Boren; his grandmother, Frances Boren; his grandfather, Jerry Rutledge; and his niece, Charlotte Pearson.

Private services are planned.

Supervising editor is Adam Aton.

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