THE YOUNG LEADER
The moment AJ stepped on the campus of West Texas A&M University those around him recognized his extreme talent.
A leader within the Mass Communications Department, AJ served as program director for the campus radio station, playing a key role in the growth of the school's broadcasting program. Nominated for Man of the Year, AJ was considered a student leader among those who had the opportunity to work with him.
While finishing up at WT, AJ took a position at the American Quarter Horse Association, thus beginning his career.
AJ's next jump was into broadcasting, taking a position as on-air reporter and weekend anchor at KVII-TV. He quickly moved up the ranks to weekday morning show anchor, then assignments editor.
Although he enjoyed journalism, AJ was soon offered the position of Executive Director of Class 4 Winds. In this position, AJ helped pave the way for the wind energy movement in the Texas Panhandle. He made sure residents were informed and active in the process, connected large out-of-town companies with local businesses, and served as an expert in the industry. This position allowed AJ to make friends across Texas and the Tri-State region.
His achievements were recognized in the Texas House of Representatives on May 22, 2013 with the passage of a resolution in his honor. Sharyland Utilities also named a sub-station built in Potter County after AJ.
AJ and I met while working at KVII-TV. I was the weekday anchor and he was the weekend anchor. Despite having opposite schedules, we quickly fell in love and started a picture-perfect life together with our dog, Simon.
AJ proposed at sunrise while we were flying over Amarillo in a hot air balloon. That balloon signified the first news story we ever covered together about a hot air balloon glow in Amarillo. Months later, we said our vows on a cliff over looking the ocean in San Diego, one of our favorite cities. Our reception was on a catamaran that sailed in and out of the San Diego Bay as we celebrated with only the closest friends and family.
In the amazing years to follow, we shared an intense love, exploring life side-by-side, enjoying each other every step of the way. Every night AJ would cook me dinner and we would talk about our day. He often surprised me with small gifts, sweet tokens of his affection. He would show up at my office during the day, pull out his computer and work next to me...just so we could be near each other. We supported each other in every decision as our personal and professional lives changed and evolved. Simply put, he was my soul mate. We shared a deep and profound love.
THE FAMILY MAN
AJ's foundation, no doubt, came straight from his parents, Rick and Leslie. They are some of the most amazing people I have ever come across in this world. And, they raised the most amazing sons.
AJ and I loved spending time with Rick and Leslie (more commonly known as Gigi and Pop)...and considered them our best friends. We felt the same way about my parents. We often talked about how fortunate we were to have such an amazing family on both sides. We couldn't have been more loved.
Of course, if you were AJ's friend, you were also considered our family. He did not hesitate to show his love for the people in our lives.
AJ was always up for an adventure. He grew up taking yearly trips with his family to Colorado, where Pop, Dirk and AJ would live off the land for days at a time. He loved to fly fish, hike and ride trials bikes.
After we got married, AJ tried his hand at a few more things; zip-lining, kayaking, snorkeling, sailing and surfing.
He was always up for anything. A train trip across the country, sure. A last-minute trip to another state to watch a band, you bet. Whataburger at 3 am, who's driving? He lived every moment to the fullest.
Aside from family, AJ's other true passion in life was music. He poured his heart and soul into every song he wrote.
You could always tell when he came up with something great. He would come running into the room laughing and ask me to listen. He expressed himself through his art. I was always in awe with his talent and his drive.
Please help our family as we try to inspire others with AJ's music. Listen to his songs and let us know where you were when you did. Let's take AJ's music around the world!