Lee Adonais Aguilar


(July 1, 1930 - May 16, 2011)

Lee Adonais Aguilar died suddenly at his home in Del Norte, Colo., on Monday evening, May 16, 2011. He was 80.

Lee was born in La Garita, Colo., on July 1, 1930 to Mel and Victoria Aguilar.

Lee and Isabel were married on Aug. 8, 1955, in Del Norte and later moved to Alamosa where he attended Alamosa State College securing both is B.A. in secondary education and M.A. in Spanish international studies. Upon graduation they moved to Powell, where he taught at the high school and Northwest Community College for 37 years. During this time Lee obtained his second Masters Degree from the University of Montana in Missoula in 20th Century Mexican liIterature.

During his teaching years he took many international trips with his students that have resulted in many of them going on to excel in Spanish language careers with the United Nations, law enforcement, physicians and as teachers themselves. 

Lee received many awards and honors, among them a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship to study at the University of Valladolid, Spain and also taught summer school sessions at the Instituto de Estudios Iberoamrerianos of Saltio, Mexico.

After “retiring” from teaching in Powell, Lee utilized his love of his Spanish language to work as an interpreter for the many migrant workers that came to work in the sugar beet field of the area — from shopping in the local grocery stores to legal matters that needed attention. He worked with U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson’s office, local attorneys and judges as an interpreter in the judicial system.

Lee served his country during the Korean War with the 52 Medical Battalion in the United States Army. His love and knowledge of history landed him on the museum boards of both Powell and Del Norte. He was a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, serving on many board, giving of his time and talents. He was a constant servant to both family and friends. He knew no strangers. 

Lee is survived by his wife Isabel, “Bo” of 56 years; daughter Cathie Aguilar Waugh of Fort Collins, Colo., also survives Lee along with his three grandchildren who were the love of his life, granddaughter Contessa Waugh Amell of Denver, grandsons Camron Waugh of Charlotte, N.C., and Corbin Waugh of Fort Collins.  Lee is also survived by his brother Tim Aguilar of Denver and his sisters, Ida Sandoval of Alamosa, Esther Martinez of Westminister, Colo., Joan Aguilar of Denver and Precilla Cavan of San Fransisco, CA. Preceeding him in death was his son Christopher Lee Aguilar, a brother Tony Aguilar and sister, Edna Meester.

Celebration of life services will be held Friday, May 20 at 2 p.m. at the Pioneer United Church 630 Spruce Street, Del Norte, CO  81132  Graveside and reception following the Celebration of Life for Lee.

Memorial donations can be sent to: Powell Schools Foundation, Academic Fund for Foreign Language in Memory of Lee Aguilar Memorial Fund, 160 N. Evarts Street, Powell, WY 82435, 307-754-2215, Att: Sheri Simpson