A native of Sacramento was preceded in death by her parents, Kenneth and Emma, and nephew, Diego. She is survived by her brother, Francisco (Alma Rosa), sister, Juanita (Danny) and two nieces, Gabby and Camilla, and two nephews, Danny and Noah.
In August of 2016, the Developmental Disabilities Service Organization (DDSO) honored Emma during their annual wine and arts event for demonstrating resilience during many life changes. Her teacher, Liz Davis, wrote this about Emma:
“Emma was one of the very first students when Achievement, Development and Care (ADC)—(a DDSO program for adults with severe disabilities) began in 1984. She has been with us throughout 32 years of her life–over half her life! Emma’s world has markedly changed from when she started. She was living at home with her parents who cared for her and even made her clothes. She had her own room and fresh cooked homemade foods her mother prepared. After years of caring for her, Emma’s mother became too ill to continue and Emma was placed in a care home. Her sister, Juanita, who’d always been involved in her life, began to increase her visits to the day program and always brought along Emma’s nephew and nieces so they could see ‘Auntie Emma’.
Years passed and sadly, Emma’s parents passed away. A few years later, she lost her care home and recently moved into another home. All this time, Juanita maintained her visits to Emma at ADC and Emma’s care homes, and finally became her legal conservator to ensure her health and safety. Emma was chosen especially because she endured all the changes that have come about in her life with dignity and grace and always, always a hug. She is the everyday client who lives a normal life with all the daily trials and increased health issues that come with age and living with a developmental disability.
She takes life in stride despite the many challenges someone in her world faces: changes in staff, routine, bus drivers, transportation issues outside her control, and having others choose her clothes, shoes, and food every day–all while being unable to communicate when she’s in pain and relying on those who care for her to see the earliest signs of discomfort and help her. Despite years of living with these challenges, Emma has not changed her personality one bit since she began here at ADC 32 years ago. Emma takes her time in getting to know you, but once she does, she will win you over with her laughter and hugs. She has not shied away nor grown weary in her journey but instead lives life with a smile and a hug for anyone willing to receive one.”
Friends are welcome to attend a vigil, rosary, and mass of thanksgiving for Emma’s life on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, at Holy Spirit Parish Church, 3159 Land Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95818. Viewing at 10:00 am, rosary at 10:30 am, and mass at 11:00 am. Following mass there will be a reception in the church’s parish hall, all are welcome. There will be a private Rite of Committal where Emma’s remains will be laid to rest next to her parents at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon, CA.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Emma C. Aguirre to the Developmental Disabilities Service Organization so ADC (the program which Emma attended for decades) can continue to provide a safe learning environment to adults with severe cognitive and developmental needs.