February 2, 1976 – August 24, 2021

 

Dr. Aaron Ryan Boatz, OD, 45, passed away August 24, 2021 at the Mayo Clinic Methodist Hospital in Rochester, MN following a courageous 6-year battle with cancer.

Funeral services will be Friday, September 3, 2021 at 2:30 PM at St. John’s Abbey Church, Collegeville, MN. Visitation will be Thursday, September 2, 2021 from 4:00 to 8:00 PM at Benson Funeral Home, St. Cloud, MN and from 1:15 to 2:15 PM at the St. John’s Abbey Church on Friday. Interment will be in St. John’s Abbey Cemetery, Collegeville, MN. Masks will be required in all indoor spaces.

Aaron was born February 2, 1976 at the St. Cloud, MN Hospital to Robert “Mick” and Margaret (Ryan) Boatz. He grew up attending Sartell/St. Stephen schools before studying Biology at St. John’s University. He continued his education in Memphis, TN at the Southern College of Optometry before beginning his career working at both Northway Eye and the Minnesota Eye Institute in 2003. Aaron became a co-owner of Northway Eye and Gaida’s Opticians in 2012.

Aaron is survived by his beloved children, Ryan and Grace; parents Robert and Margaret, sister Caroline (Stephen) White, dear nephews Henry and Emmitt and countless additional family and friends.

He was preceeded in death by his grandparents, Robert and Dorothy Boatz and Ted and Hope Ryan, his aunt, Grace Ryan Kain and uncle, Stephen Boatz.

Aaron had a warm and generous heart. Despite the many hardships he endured, Aaron always persevered with excitement for the future and a genuine interest in the well-being of others. Meeting Aaron meant gaining a friend. He was an active member of the St. Joseph Lion’s Club and lived a life devoted to his community, living the values of his faith. Aaron enjoyed laughter, friends, family, sporting events, nature, and music. He truly enjoyed most of what life had to offer, especially experiencing and sharing it with others. He leaves a legacy of service, love, joy, beauty, integrity and generosity. Words cannot express the loss felt by his passing.

Memorial gifts may be sent to the Dr. Aaron Ryan Boatz Memorial Scholarship Fund, Office of Institutional Advancement, PO Box 7222, St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321.