Dodd Clifton, communications manager with Realtree, wrote this tribute to longtime outdoor writer, consultant and friend Aaron Fraser Pass, who died April 5.
Outdoor industry stalwart Aaron Fraser Pass lost his battle with cancer today. Thankfully he left us with traces of his incredible knowledge and skill, which can be found in the many magazine articles and columns he wrote over a 40-year career. Still, so much was lost with the man. His intellect and judgment were as keen as any before. His humor was quick, came easy and cut hard. His memory was unfailing. His character and ethic were genuine.
Aaron tried to sum himself up on his business card, which reads, “Have Gun. Will Travel.” Granted, that did a pretty good job of capturing Aaron’s essence, but anyone lucky enough to really know Aaron will tell you there was so much more.
Aaron was born in 1946 on a sometimes idyllic, usually hectic, often difficult North Georgia farm. He embraced the outdoor lifestyle early. His passion for all things firearms related was rooted in his interest in history, passion for our outdoor heritage, and the simple act of putting food on the table. Few men possessed his detailed knowledge of guns and ammunition. If you wanted accurate information, authoritative copy or witty commentary on these topics, Aaron was your man.
Aaron certainly traveled far and wide with gun in hand. Those fortunate enough to travel with him experienced unparalleled sportsmanship, camaraderie and education. His preparation for trips included extensive research on the region’s history, culture, plants and animals. Traveling with Aaron was often better than hiring a local guide, and usually more entertaining.
Many will remember Aaron as a natural lightning rod for discourse – typically friendly. It wasn’t that Aaron liked to argue; no doubt he would just as soon avoid confrontation. For those who did engage him in an intellectual difference, the problem was, Aaron was always right – not in the sense that he wouldn’t accept your point, but in the sense that he had the facts, understood the implications, and was simply right. Period. Many such encounters ended over a friendly drink, with all parties feeling better for the discussion.
Those of us in the outdoor industry can only hope that other writers like Aaron will follow in his footsteps to carry on our traditions, our heritage, our Second Amendment rights and, hopefully, to make us laugh really hard at least once a day.
The once-boisterous and always-entertaining Aaron Fraser Pass left us quietly. He didn’t want to worry his friends with news of his illness. He wanted no sympathy calls or cards. He didn’t even want this simple eulogy, but this isn’t for you, Aaron. It’s for your family and friends. We love you. You will be missed.
Aaron is survived by his wife, Lynnell Pass; daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Vogt, her husband, Darin Vogt, and their daughters Ava and Sophia Vogt; and sons John Travis Pass and Michael Fraser Pass.