Violinist, writer, anime fan
A community memorial service for Aspen Geurts was held Thursday, November 19 at UCC Church in Claremont. Aspen passed away on Wednesday, November 4 in Claremont. She was 15.
“Our beautiful and perfect Aspen left us. Aspen Victoria Geurts is at peace but continues to shine bright to her family and friends as a symbol of love, innocence and grace. She always saw the best in others and also found humor in the unpredictability of life,” her family shared.
Aspen was born in Arcadia on December 30, 1999, several seconds before her twin sister Alexandra.
“Aspen was always the very strongly opinionated type. From first glance at her usual quiet, introverted self, you wouldn’t have guessed that whatsoever,” her twin sister Allie shared.
“She would stay up for hours with me, complaining about the stupidity of high school or math or the blunders of the politicians she’d read about in articles online. She was strong to not change based off of what other people wanted from her or asked from her, unless she knew it was necessary for her own self-improvement. She carried herself inwardly but with confidence, and she knew enough comebacks to destroy any person she deemed annoying. Her sarcasm was funny and it was something that always gave me a reason to laugh.”
The family spent only a year in San Dimas before moving to Claremont, where Aspen participated in ballet, tap, gymnastics and swimming until she began kindergarten at Chaparral Elementary School. She excelled in all school subjects, although her favorites were writing and history. Her parents shared that Aspen loved every single one of her teachers at Chaparral.
While at Chaparral, Aspen joined Girl Scout Troop 2114. She learned to play the piano in first grade and played through sixth grade with Mrs. Miller, a friend’s mother. She also took up violin in the fifth grade, joining the CUSD elementary orchestra. Charlotte Van Ryswyk, her elementary violin teacher, gave Aspen private violin lessons through the eighth grade.
“Aspen, a quiet girl, really enjoyed playing the violin, and actually spent time practicing because she really wanted to improve,” Ms. Van Ryswyk shared in a recent tribute. “She brought me music that she wanted to share with me, hoping she could learn it. Much of it was video game music that she had spent hours searching for on the Internet, and while we couldn’t make it work on the violin, we did try. She was the kind of student all teachers love—the motivated one, the one who knew to take advantage of our time together. I am so very, very sad that I will never see her again.”
Aspen attended El Roble Intermediate School for seventh and eighth grades and continued in orchestra as she enjoyed playing her violin. She was a fan of Pokémon and anime and took Japanese language classes through BYU just for fun.
Aspen elected to attend Glendora High School, where she was an honors student, a member of the orchestra and participated in both the Key Club and German Club. In her spare time, Aspen played her violin and wrote stories, her sharp wit and flair for the dramatic spilling across the pages.
She had her first trip overseas last summer when she spent a month in Germany with the German Club at Glendora High. She planned to go to France her junior year with her AP European history class. In the past year, she did volunteer work with the Key Club distributing food to the homeless, decorated floats for the Rose Parade and participated in other volunteer work.
Aspen had a future with endless possibilities. She had considered applying to colleges on the East Coast or schools like Scripps College or UC Berkeley to be near her family. She was contemplating a future as a writer or a lawyer.
Her father, Norman Geurts, most appreciated Aspen’s caring nature.
“Aspen was such a loving daughter. When I came home from work, no matter how late, Aspen would wait up in order to greet me at the door to give me a hug and kiss,” her dad shared.
“I especially treasured how she would tell her mom that she needed help with her math homework and then would save the work until I got home. She would end up patiently showing me how to do the problems as I used Google and Wikipedia to try to figure it out. I knew what she was doing, and loved her for it.”
Aspen’s spirit will continue on in her twin sister, Alexandra Geurts, her parents, Norman and Kristine Geurts, and in the hearts of all that love her. She will be deeply missed for her warmth, love and humor.