Kupuna Life: 102-year-old golfer receives drive-by birthday celebration

Kupuna Life

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Richard Okamoto golfed 18 holes every week with his fellow members of the Hawaii Kai Lions Club until the pandemic hit. The members have not forgotten Okamoto even though he has not returned.

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They even organized a drive-by birthday celebration when Okamoto turned 102 years old.

“The cars assembled in the park adjacent to my house and I didn’t know it would manage but then they came one by one, fronting my house,” he said.

A total of 15 vehicles carrying about 25 members and their spouses were part of the celebration.

“So it seemed like a very orderly procession and I was happy to see them being successful in their efforts,” Okamoto said. “I was very happy, too.”

The retired Army Reserve major now spends his days watching TV and going on walks twice a day. It has been a while since he has been to a golf course.

“Although it’s a pleasure to hit the ball, it’s a displeasure to not know where the ball landed and ended so golfing is definitely out,” Okamoto said. “And surprisingly the three others who made up my foursome decided to quit golfing too.”

He is grateful for the time he spent with his fellow members at the links.

“I think my life was prolonged because of them, looking forward to the next outing at Ted Makalena Golf Course,” he said. “I never expected to live beyond 100 and going beyond that has been a big surprise.”

He is also grateful for his ohana.

“My family, my two daughters Bobbie and Frannie,” Okamoto said. My life would be completely different without them, they give me support.”

His advice for a long life?

“Do what little you can as best as you can but not overdo yourself,” he said.

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