Aguilar, who was born in Mexico, was a charter member of the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs. He also was the founding chairman of the board of the Farm Workers' Clinic in Yakima Valley.
Aguilar selflessly dedicated his time and efforts to develop programs that benefitted Latinos and all Washingtonians. He inspired the first-ever Latino scholarship at the UW's Foster School of Business. For his work, he was honored by the state Legislature. He also received the Ohtli Medal, Mexico's highest civilian honor. He is survived by his wife, Clementina, five children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Donations in his memory can be made to the Ernest I.J. Aguilar Scholarship Fund, Foster School of Business, University of Washington, Box 353200, Seattle, WA 98195-3200.