Vilma Hastings, considered by many the matriarch of the South Bay escrow community, passed away August 16th after a seven-year battle with Alzheimer's Disease. She was 85. Vilma, who was the daughter of Italian immigrants, Ernesto Pia and Gemma Massetti, was born in San Bernardino, CA on Oct. 7, 1927. She moved to Hermosa Beach in 1959 with her husband, Phil and two children. She quickly immersed herself into the local real estate community and founded Hermosa Escrow in 1969. She turned that it to a successful enterprise she used to create jobs for countless women over a four-decade span, including several who went on to form their own escrow companies. A charter member of the Sandpiper Club in Manhattan Beach, Vilma was proud of her north Hermosa strand house. She remained in that unique home until a few months before her passing. She loved to decorate her Christmas tree for strand strollers to enjoy every December and also took special pride in her unique courtyard garden sheltered by a large gazebo. She also made numerous trips to Europe, where she perfected her propensity for shopping. She did not discriminate, spoiling both her children and her grandchildren with gifts for every occasion. She spent her teenage years working part-time in her grandmother's Italian restaurant, where she learned some of her legendary cooking skills. A philanthropist at heart, she was quick to donate to worthy causes as well as treat her employees to special events. She was predated in death by her husband Phil. They were married for 46 years. She is survived by her daughter, Cydney Hastings, 60, of Hermosa Beach and Jon Hastings, 57, of San Luis Obispo; daughter-in-law, Thalia Hastings, 55, of San Luis Obispo; as well as grandson, Connor Hastings (27) and granddaughter, Kellen Hastings (24). She died in Cedar City, Utah, while under the sensitive care of her loving niece, Brenda Mower. The family was planning a Memorial Celebration of Vilma's life September 21st in her Hermosa Beach strand home. Please sign the guest book at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze on Aug. 21, 2013