WILTON — A beloved member of the school district has died. Cesar A. Jimenez, 62, died unexpectedly on Sunday. Funeral services were held Wednesday at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Norwalk.

By his own words, Jimenez was truly living the American dream.

When he came to the United States from Aguadas, Colombia in 1981, Jimenez did not speak one word of English. But he wanted a better life for himself and eventually for his children. He wanted to see his daughter and son get an education. He wanted to finish his own.

He got what he wished for.

Jimenez worked in the Wilton School district for more than 30 years, where he was admired and respected as the plant manager. He was a life-long advocate for the importance of education, completing his bachelor's degree in 2009 from Southern Connecticut State University at the age of 51.

At a recent Board of Education meeting, Wilton Schools Superintendent Kevin Smith called Jimenez a “Wilton Warrior,” who had “strength of character and tremendous work ethic.”

Jimenez loved spending time with his friends and family. He was altruistic, giving back to his parish at St. Thomas the Apostle and donating clothes, classroom supplies and equipment to schools in his Colombian hometown.

“I would say the American dream for me was to give my kids the chance to do whatever was possible. I think, so far, we've accomplished that,” Jimenez said in an interview with the Norwalk Hour in 2009.

Jimenez is survived by his two children Jessica and Alexander Jimenez, their mother Gloria Jimenez, as well as siblings: Jose Mario, Ruben Dario, Jorge Uriel, Hernando, Angela Maria, Martha Lucia, Luz Elena, Gloria Ines and Alba Marina and the entire Carmona Family. He is predeceased by his brother Ramiro and his parents Nora and Alonso.

Visit norwalkfh.com to leave an online condolence for the family. The family has requested that remembrances be made in the form of contributions to a GoFundMe campaign/.