Penticton man died suddenly but left behind the gift of music

Aaron Olfert (left) died last year but his family has found a way to pass on his passion for music.
Image Credit: Facebook

KELOWNA – Aaron Olfert was just 37-years-old when he died last October.

Aaron came from a musical family and despite cerebral palsy making it impossible for him to hold a pick in his right hand, he learned to play both guitar and the drums.

“When he wasn't at work, he was playing music,” his sister Kristen Newman says.

With the help of his music teacher Noel Wentworth, his youth pastor and mother, Aaron overcame his disability and learned to hold a pick wearing a modified golf glove.

“To say he was a determined student was a bit of an understatement,” Wentworth says. “In no way would he accept anything less than what he wanted.”

After his passing, the Olfert family approached Wentworth Music with an idea to honour the memory and passion Aaron had for music. Instead of flowers, the family requested that people send funds to a special account set aside at Wentworth Music. This week a young, aspiring musician was given a new guitar, and three siblings got a new electronic drum set.

“We all thought this was such a fitting way to pay tribute to an extraordinary person whose love of music impacted so many,” Wentworth says. “We hope to see other families and businesses participate in creative bursaries like this in the future.”

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at aproskiw@infonews.ca or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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