Eleanor Ann Reid Hastings
August 1, 1928-January 12, 2013
Resident of Los Gatos
Eleanor Ann Reid Hastings was born on a hot summer night in Memphis, TN in 1928. The exact time of Elly's birth (around midnight) was not noted, so her mother chose the date of August 1 rather than July 31 because it was a beginning and sounded optimistic. Optimism was always a deep value for our Momma, and she taught it to her 7 children, 17 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild, countless friends and family members. Love, patience and welcome were the themes of Elly's life and she gave unstintingly of all three. No one was ever turned away from her table, her home or her popcorn bowl. Her family was her life, from her first child to her last grandchild and she would drop a basket full of clean clothes in a heartbeat to play Candyland. She also had a wonderful sense of humor and could cheer up a crabby child in 2 seconds with her silly 'Grammy face'.
Elly grew up in Berkeley, surrounded by the love of her dear parents, Winifred Catherine Sloyan Reid and Lemuel Albert Reid, and her devoted siblings: Walter Raney Reid (Alice), Mamie Miller (Stephen), and her beloved sister, Catherine Bedecarre (John). She attended School of the Madeleine and Holy Names High School and then UC Berkeley, where she was an active member of the Delta Zeta sorority. On the first day of college, she met the love of her life, Chalmers William Hastings (Bill). Very much in love, they were married after graduation on September 15, 1951 at St. Jerome's church in Berkeley, and began their love affair of 61 years. Their marriage was blessed with 7 children: Molly Hastings Mazzella (John) of Campbell, CA, Reid Hastings (Margaret) of Los Gatos, Liz McNamara (John) of Maple Heights, MN, Meg Grubb of San Antonio, TX, Tom Hastings of Los Gatos, and last but not least the twins, Dan Hastings (Maya) of Washington D.C. and David Hastings, (Alma) of Boerne, Texas. Mom only got a week's notice that she was having twins, but she never missed a beat. "Bill, we need another crib and changing table", was her nonchalant response to this news.
Our Momma was a spirited supporter of her children's, grandchildren's and nieces and nephew's activities. She followed their lives with a compassionate and interested heart, and each of them were certain that they were her most treasured one. She would make Kool Aid and baloney sandwiches for a picnic with them at the drop of a hat. Her grandchildren are William Flammer, Matt Flammer, Ross Hastings, Abbey Hastings, Michael Lee Hastings-Fontaine, Rachel McNamara, Shannon McNamara, Laura Grubb, Matthew Grubb, John Grubb, Hannah Hastings, Ben Hastings, Gabriel Hastings, Nicky Hastings, Stephanie Eleanor Hastings, Amanda Hastings, Olivia Hastings and cherished great granddaughter, Lyla Noel.
Elly served her community over the last decades of her life by working at the Los Gatos Library and volunteering at the Happy Dragon Thrift Shop. She was a devout Catholic and active parishioner at St. Mary's Church in Los Gatos. Faith guided our Momma her entire life and she and our Daddy attended Mass every Sunday.
Momma passed away peacefully, surrounded by her seven children, with her husband at her side, holding her hand as she entered Heaven. She spent the last hours of her life smiling, cherishing her family, and telling us she loved us over and over. A Rosary will be held at Darling and Fischer Chapel of the Hills on 615 North Santa Cruz Avenue, Los Gatos at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, January 16. A funeral Mass, followed by a reception, will be held on Thursday, January 17 at 11:00 am at St. Mary's Church in Los Gatos. In lieu of flowers, donations to Loaves and Fishes of San Jose are appreciated. Here's to Elly, a darn fine gal!!!!
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Jan. 15, 2013.