Locals come together to help family after sudden passing of Cassel mom

CASSEL, Calif. — Residents from the Intermountain area and beyond have come together to help provide comfort, financial aid and other assistance to a local family after the sudden and unexpected passing of long-time local Darcy Aguilar early Sunday evening, May 2. She was 47-years-old at the time of her death.

“She was an amazing woman and we would like to honor her the best we can, and celebrate this amazing woman’s life,” Darcy’s daughter, Victoria Ortiz, wrote in a GoFundMe fundraiser after her mom’s death.


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Darcy was rushed to an area hospital around 5 p.m., after suffering a medical crisis that led to her heart stopping. Despite life-saving efforts she later died at the hospital, John Tompkins, Darcy’s boyfriend of nearly four years, told SCNS today.

“We met over ten years ago and dated on and off until things got serious,” John explained; adding, “She was loved by all who met her and I will miss and think about her everyday.”

In addition to her other family members and loved ones, Darcy (center) leaves behind three children, as well as countless other “kids” she helped raise throughout the years and who lovingly called her mom.

Well known and loved throughout the area, Darcy and John had just recently moved to Cassel, after spending several years living in Johnson Park, just west of the Intermountain area town of Burney where both worked.

“She was the best neighbor. She was so funny and always willing to offer a helping hand when needed,” former Johnson Park neighbor Robin Montgomery tearfully said after hearing of Darcy’s unexpected passing.

“I just can’t believe she’s gone,” Robin continued; adding, “But she will never be forgotten by all of us who loved her so much and cherished her friendship.”

Darcy and John were still getting settled into their new home in Cassel when she suddenly passed away, according to John; who told SCNS that Darcy had just recently gotten the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination. 

“We don’t want to scare anybody into not getting vaccinated, but I tell you what, I’m not in a hurry to get vaccinated now,” John explained.


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In the wake of her mother’s passing her daughter, Victoria Ortiz, created a GoFundMe fundraiser seeking just $1,100 to help raise the needed funds to properly honor her mother.

“We need help covering for cremation cost and wake costs for my mom,” Victoria Ortiz wrote in the fundraiser.

“She was an amazing woman and we would like to honor her the best we can,” Victoria continued; adding, “However, money’s been tight. For her, me, and lets face it, everyone.”

“She was an amazing woman and we would like to honor her the best we can, and celebrate this amazing woman’s life,” Darcy’s daughter, Victoria Ortiz wrote in a GoFundMe fundraiser.

Within the first two days of creating the GoFundMe account the fundraiser had quickly swelled to more than $5,000; leading Victoria to later thank all those who had already donated.

“I just wanted to thank everyone so much for your donations. No words can even compare to how blessed you all have made our family feel,” Victoria wrote in her update.

“All the extra money that we get is going straight to the celebration of life and bills for the cost of it,” she continued.

“I’m just so happy to see that in our time of need everybody pulled together to help us out. This is just one less thing we have to worry about,” the grateful daughter said; adding, “Thank you all so much from our family to yours.”

To donate to Darcy’s cremation, wake and celebration of life, click here.

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.