7801 Deercreek Club Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32256
It is with great sadness that NEFAR has learned that longtime member Hilda R. Solaun, 85, broker/owner of Dahill International Realty, passed away on September 1.
Hilda was a REALTOR® Emeritus who was in the business in Jacksonville for more than 50 years. She was a proud member of NEFAR and loved her work in real estate so much, that she bought a piece of rental property to commemorate her 80th birthday. And it was rumored that she was buried with her name tag on.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Hilda was educated at Ursuline Sisters Catholic School and became a classical pianist after graduating from the music conservatory in Havana. She married her husband, Felix, in 1958 and the couple immigrated to the United States in 1961.
After raising her four children, she began her second career as a real estate agent for ERA Lopez Realty. Two years later she received her broker’s license and opened her own shop, Dahill International Realty. “She quickly became adept at communicating with everyone she met, and she never met a stranger,” said her daughter Leticia “Leti” Solaun.
Hilda’s good friend, Cathy Whatley of Buck & Buck Realty agreed. “She was a really nice woman, always upbeat, always smiling. She never had a bad word to say about anyone. She never complained and took everything in stride,” Cathy recalled. “Hilda helped a lot of people with language barriers when they were trying to understand real estate transactions. She knew what she was doing, and she would do everything in her power to make transactions successful for everyone involved.”
As she gained more and more experience, she became an advocate, helping Spanish-speaking, first-time home buyers live the American dream, said Leti, noting her mother regarded her real estate office as more of a “community space” and a “social service” organization. During her tenure as a REALTOR®, she became the residential broker of record for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Hilda’s love for real estate rubbed off on three of her four children. Daughter Leticia is a NEFAR member and worked with her mother at Dahill International Realty. Her son Jose Solaun also worked with his mother and was formerly a NEFAR member. Another son, Felix, lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and is a member of the DeKalb Association of REALTORS® but was formerly a secondary out-of-state NEFAR member. Her oldest daughter, Maria Solaun, lives in Frankford, Delaware. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
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