HONOLULU (KHON2) — Ted Richardson spends almost every morning the same way.
He catches three different City buses to the National Cemetery of the Pacific, where a staff member picks him up at the bottom of Punchbowl.
He has been there so many times. The staff even celebrated his 2000th visit earlier in May.
All of those visits were tracked on paper calendars. They were to visit the love of his life, Florence, who passed away in 2013.
“I’m paying her back for all the days she made it a perpetual honeymoon for me,” Richardson said.
It has been a perpetual honeymoon for 72 years.
“The first day I saw her was the first day after Labor Day in 1941,” he said. “She was moving from junior high school to the senior high school. That was the first time I saw her, the day after Labor Day.”
KHON2 needed to know how Richardson felt when he first saw her.
“Well, I thought she was the prettiest girl in the school,” he said.
Florence worked for the FBI, and they had a son and three hanai children.
“She was so nice, you wouldn’t find a nicer person,” Richardson said. “In all the years I was with her, I never heard her say a bad word, never. She got mad at me one time, I know because I was wrong.”
Richardson keeps a photo of her attached to his wrist, and even wears her wedding ring on his finger. So what does he miss the most about his wife?
“Everything,” Richardson said. “I was so spoiled. I’m telling you, my wish was a command as far as she was concerned.”
Richardson can be found at the Cemetery every day except Saturdays, which he sets aside for medical appointments. His visits always include a Hawaiian blessing, and sometimes, sports updates.
“I get down there and I talk to her and tell her the Detroit Tigers are still down in the cellar and Notre Dame football team wasn’t winning any national championships,” he said.
He believes they will be reunited again some day. Until then, he will keep coming back to pay his respects to the girl who stole his heart all those years ago.
“And I’ll see you in the morning sweetie, as usual,” he said.