Funeral services were held in Minnesota on Saturday morning for children’s and YA book author Aaron Frisch, 37, who also had served as an editor since 1998 at the Creative Company’s Mankato headquarters. He died tragically and unexpectedly on January 7. Frisch, whose more than 150 books were published by the Creative Company, primarily wrote nonfiction picture books about various U.S. professional sports teams, such as his most recent release, NBA Champions: New York Knicks (2012). He also wrote about the natural world and the lives of notable Americans. Frisch’s fiction books for children were illustrated by artists such as Gary Kelley (Dark Fiddler: The Life and Legend of Nicolo Paganini, 2008), Chris Sheban (A Night on the Range, 2010), Etienne Delessert (The Lonely Pine, 2011), Mark Summers (Pirates at the Plate, 2012), and Roberto Innocenti (The Girl in Red, 2012).

A Night on the Range received a 2011 Spur Award for Best Western Storyteller from the Western Writers of America in 2011. It was also a finalist that year for a Minnesota Book Award in children’s literature.

Tom Peterson, the Creative Company’s owner and publisher, remembered his colleague on Monday, telling PW that Frisch “was dedicated to the craft of writing and devoted to his work as an editor – his thoughtfully considered responses and insightful comments enriched the writing and perspectives of all who were fortunate enough to collaborate with him. Aaron was considered a mentor to many in the children’s publishing field, and his sudden death leaves a gaping void in the lives of all who knew and loved him.”