Virginia Ann Hill-Aguilar(1949 - 2017)

Virginia Ann Hill-Aguilar July 10, 1949 - December 9, 2017 Pauma Valley Virginia Ann Hill-Aguilar, a resident of the Pauma Indian Reservation, passed away on December 9th, 2017 at Palomar Hospital in Escondido. Virginia was born in Silvercreek, NY, and grew up on the Viejas Indian Reservation since the age of 5. Virginia was a full-blood, federally recognized, enrolled member of the Tonawanda Band of Seneca Wolf Clan. She passed at the age of 68. Coming from humble beginnings, Virginia possessed a strong passion to enhance the quality of life for Indian children, families and their communities. She graduated from SDSU in 1993 with a MSW. Virginia had many accomplishments for Indian Country in her distinguished lifetime. She was an activist at Wounded Knee in 1973 and the Longest Walk in 1978 which brought awareness to Native American issues. In 1981 to 2001 she was the Director of Social Services for the Southern Indian Health Council. While there, she developed a unique relationship with the County that streamlined services such as cash assistance, food stamps and medical services. In addition, she developed several programs including the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) which is a federal law that governs jurisdiction over the removal of Native American children. Virginia also implemented prevention programs, two domestic violence programs, a child care program and a teen home for Native American girls. She educated Congress about the needs of Tribal communities and testified numerous times at the state and national level regarding these needs. In 1997 she developed a program called TANF that provides temporary aid and services to Native American families. The result of this effort was the first tribal TANF plan in California that provided assistance to a consortium of tribes. She then assisted other tribes with implementing their own TANF programs. Virginia provided input on proposed state and federal legislation as to how the legislation would affect Indian tribes. She was a spokesperson at various regional meetings and coordinated tribal leadership groups with the House and Senate committees and members of Congress. A few of her many awards include 20 years of commitment and dedication to Tribal communities, the Moccasin Award provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Women of Excellence Award, and the SDSU Centennial Award. In the latter part of her career, Virginia was Tribal Administrator for the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians and the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, both located in Southern California. Shortly after retiring from the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel she took a position in Sacramento on Sept. 30, 2017 to develop group homes for Native American children. She had only been retired for 4 days when she took the position as the Supervising Social Worker because she saw the need for her expertise. Virginia had a huge heart for improving the quality of life for Native American communities and she worked hard to see that through up until her last breath. She loved playing fast pitch softball all her life, retiring her glove at the young age of 65. She is survived by her husband of 40 years, Alwin "Chip" Kenneth Aguilar; three daughters, Angela Meza, Marla Meza, and Jenna Aguilar; two sons, Joseph Aguilar and Shane Ward; sisters Donna Gage, Susan LaFromboise, Alvera Muller, Barbara Muller, and Elida Muller; brothers David Hill, Edward Hill, and Anthony "Punkin" Pico; 11 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by parents Calvin Hill Sr. and Joseph & Muriel Muller; brothers Calvin Hill Jr., David James Hill and Joseph Muller; and sister Joan Muller. Services to be held at the Pauma Tribal Hall at 1010 Pauma Reservation Rd., Pauma Valley, CA 92061. There will be an all-night Wake Friday, Dec. 15th at 5pm and a Celebration of Life on Saturday, Dec. 16th at 8am. Burial to follow at the Pauma Tribal Cemetery. Please send flowers and donations to Alhiser-Comer Mortuary, 225 S. Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025.

Funeral Home

Alhiser-Comer Mortuary - FD- 297
225 S. Broadway Escondido, CA 92025
760-745-2162

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Dec. 15, 2017