Antonio Santillan, father, friend and long-time broker and business owner in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, passed away on January 17, 2014 at Kaiser Fontana Hospital while recovering from surgery. Antonio was born in 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and was raised in Chicago, Illinois, graduating from Morgan Park Academy. He attended William and Mary College, later served in the U.S. Navy and then headed to Hollywood to be a "song and dance man." His numerous credits as a writer, producer and director include Viva Knieval, Dirty Mary/Crazy Larry, The Glass Cage and Once Upon a Time in America. He began investing in real estate properties in 1965 with his wife, Karen. This became a lifelong passion, which he shared early on with his sons, Marcos and Miguel. His company, Adams Financial Services, Inc., has been a successful lender for decades. In 2005 he launched a hybrid CFL Mortgage pool, Adams Financial Investment Fund LLC, for qualified California investors, sharing his unique visionary approach to real estate investing. Antonio played full out at everything he did, whether as a self-proclaimed "golfoholic" or tireless fund manager who would roll up his sleeves and walk every property. He was tenacious, energetic, sharp-witted, dapper and stalwart. He was also committed to his children, investors, friends and God. He is survived by his children, Marcos, Miguel and Andrea, his grandchildren Daniella and Morgan, his mother Mimi Jaffe and her family, brother Mark Jaffe, his ex-wife and lifelong friend Karen Pokraka and her husband Anton Holden, ex-wife and friend Cathie Coats and an extensive family in Argentina. In addition to numerous community and professional organizations, he was a member of the Screenwriters Guild, Rotary International, Toastmasters International and Jonathan Club. He was also a Free Mason and Shriner. Antonio Santillan was one of a kind and will always be remembered as a consummate storyteller. He had a colorful way of expressing himself, even during challenging setbacks with health or personal matters. When times were tough he would say, "Just pick yourself up, shake off the dust, climb back in the saddle--and head for the barn." Ride on Antonio Santillan. Your light and spirit are stronger than ever. Memorial celebrations will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 9 at his home, 3495 E. Loma Vista Circle, Palm Springs and 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22 at Hope Lutheran Church, 6720 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. Personal memorials may be made to the Shriner's Hospital or Hope Lutheran Church.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 2, 2014