Esperanza “Dora” Aguila Impink died peacefully the morning of April 7, 2022. She was 83. A native of San Diego, she was the daughter of Francisco Aguila and Paula Zepeda, raised in Tijuana, San Diego, and Cocula, Jalisco.
She is survived by her husband Carl Impink, sons Frank Millican and Anthony Millican from her first marriage to Roderick Millican, and five grandchildren: Karina, Brianna, Sabrina, and Gabriella and Anthony Javier.
She was a beloved mom, grandma and wife. Yet so much more. “Aunt Dora" loved her nieces, nephews and godchildren, spoiling them when they were toddlers and into adulthood. “Dorita” was a fixture for decades at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, driving her Guadalupana friends to Mass, then shopping, lunch or a movie afterwards. Her Guadalupanas, her dear friends, sat by her, helped feed and tended to her at her nursing home to the end. “Dora” was also a Rotarian, bringing her work with a home for abandoned seniors in La Rumorosa, Mex., to the attention of the Rotary Club of Chula Vista Eastlake, which carries on this mission today.
“Dorita” embodied the cross-border experience. She flowed in and out of both worlds. In her youth, she donned elegant gowns and attire with her social club friends, photos capturing a bygone era of Tijuana. But if you asked her where she or her family came from, she proudly answered Cocula, Jalisco, the birthplace of Mariachi music. The classic songs stirred her soul.
The last two years had taken such a toll. She was cutoff from her church and friend network during the shutdown. She was stunned by the passing of some of her closest Guadalupana and childhood friends. Then, just shy of two years ago, her first husband, Rod, and sister Rose, died on the same day. Last year, her last surviving sibling, Angie, died, and Dora was just not the same. Her heart and her spirit could only take so much.
Now, she will now be reunited with her brothers, sisters and loved ones in heaven. They will be in peace together, no longer suffering from the terrible ailments of their last years.
Our mom would want to be remembered as she was before the pandemic, and not as the frail soul that dementia increasingly robbed from us. Keep her memory with you of a joyful, smiling little lady full of life and love for her family and friends. The grandma who kept wallet size photos of each of her five grandchildren tucked into all pockets and corners of her purse. The Guadalupana who worked the kitchen at her church. The Rotarian who comforted seniors in desperate conditions. The “House Mom” to international students she hosted from all over the world.
Momma, we know your ever-present smile is still shining down upon us from heaven. Love you forever.
The family will receive relatives and friends on Tuesday, April 19 from 4-8 p.m. for visitation at Featheringill Mortuary, located at 6322 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, CA 92115. Funeral Services will be held Wednesday, April 20 at 12:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, located at 345 Anita St., Chula Vista, CA, 91911, with burial to follow at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, located at 4470 Hilltop Drive, San Diego, CA 92102.
In lieu of flowers, for those who are able, a link has been set up for donations in Dora’s name to the Chula Vista Sunset Rotary Foundation. The funds would be dedicated to assisting the home for abandoned seniors in La Rumorosa. Click to donate:
The seniors home was a passion project of my mother’s, as well as her church friends.