HONOLULU (KHON2) — There will be a blessing for a playground in Mililani that honors the life of a Navy widow who helped others.
The blessing will be on Tuesday, July 5 at the Saint John Apostle & Evangelist Catholic Church on Kuahelani Avenue. The program starts at 4:30 p.m. in the church. Bishop Larry Silva will lead a mass at 5 p.m. There will be a blessing and dedication of Kiddy’s Playground, and then a dinner at the One Community Center.
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Kristin Gudbjorg Jonsdottir DeCoster, who was also affectionately called Kiddy, was a Navy widow who was active in the community. She passed away in April 2021 at the age of 88. Her husband Richard DeCoster served in the Navy on the USS Bowfin after WWII. He also served in the Korean War and Vietnam War. He died in 1997 at the age of 69.
Kiddy’s friend of more than 40 years, Dan Del Monte Jr. who is also a veteran, said he wanted to do a scholarship in Kiddy’s name at the Saint John’s Catholic Pre-school at their church. The Montessori school said what they really needed was a playground to replace the one that was removed when the One Community Center was built.
“So I had the playground built in Kiddy’s name because she certainly deserves it,” said Del Monte Jr.
He describes their relationship as the best of friends. When Del Monte Jr. had cancer, she helped to take care of him. Del Monte Jr. also helped to take care of the DeCosters in their time of need.
Kiddy’s community service was varied as she enjoyed helping others.
For more than 20 years, Kiddy made yarn lei for the submariners who died. She placed the leis on the Memorial Walk at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.
She was on the board of directors for the Pacific Fleet Submarine Memorial Association. She was a member of the 46 Fleet Reserve Association, Honolulu Council of the Navy League, Pan Am Association and the Sub Vettes of the United States Submarine Veterans Incorporated, Bowfin Base Hawaii. She was a member of her church’s women’s guild, and she was a Eucharistic minister for more than 25 years.
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She crocheted hats, and she gave them to the women who lost their hair at the cancer centers.
The keiki of the church’s pre-school have a place to play at Kiddy’s Playground.