Aaron James Whatley, “Whatley” to his friends, was born Feb. 8, 1987, in Sylva N.C., full of life and ready to entertain.

He passed away peacefully in his childhood home on March 3, 2020, from complications from seizures. In 2015 he started having seizures that they found were caused by a large mass on his brain that they were able to remove.

In spite of these health issues he chose to continue living life to its fullest, mountain biking, fishing with his dad, brother and nephews, camping, hanging out with family and friends, being the tickle monster to his niece and nephews and chasing sunsets. Aaron was blessed with many wonderful friends and family who helped him make the best of every day. He is remembered for his smiles, blue eyes and contagious joy!

Aaron leaves behind many heartbroken family and friends who were blessed to have known him. He was the son of Jim Whatley and Judi Whatley, brother to Adam (Laura) Whatley and Sarah (Boomer) Rish, and a very proud uncle to Kasey, Tucker, Addie and Lander.

Aaron grew up in Sylva, N.C., attended Scotts Creek Elementary and Smoky Mountain High School. He graduated high school and headed north to Maine to hike back to Georgia on the Appalachian Trail with his mom. He later got a degree in avionics and was working in the field of avionics when his seizures started. At this point he moved from Colorado back to Sylva. Through the last five years he had lived here in Sylva surrounded by family and friends and doing all the things he loved!

The family received friends Friday, March 6, 2020, at Appalachian Funeral Services from 6-8 p.m.

The family will hold a celebration of life at a later date and will post details on Facebook. In lieu of flowers, the family would love for you to join them for the celebration of life and bring a covered dish.