Florence Richardson peacefully died at home at age 100 + 11 months on March 22, 2021 surrounded by her loving family, daughter Allene and husband, Jay Suemori, daughter-in-law, Pokey Richardson, grandchildren Andrew "Keola" & Jessica Richardson, Anne & JP Wright, Puna Richardson & John Suemori.
Florence was pleased to have had two of her four part-Hawaiian grandchildren doctors monitoring her at her time of passing. Florence was the wife of B. Allen Richardson M.D., the first, and mother of the second, Allen B. Richardson M.D. part-Hawaiian orthopedic surgeons. Her two grandchildren Andrew and Anne are also orthopedic surgeons.
Florence Elizabeth Ching was born at home overlooking Port Allen harbor, Kauai to Quon Chiu Ching and Rose Leong Achiu Ching on April 22, 1920. Her older sister Lorraine [Hon Chong] Chang, and younger brother Richard Oliver [Lorene] Ching both predeceased her.
At age 12 Florence graduated from Eleele Grammar School, and thereafter boarded in Lihue to attend Kauai High School graduating at age 16, class of 1936. She was the volunteer year book editor grades 11 and 12.
Florence attended University of Hawaii joining Te Shih Sheh Sorority and the UH Glee Club Hui I’iwi ["Gathering of Birds"].
Florence met her soulmate for life, Barrister Allen "Buster" Richardson, from the Big Island, at UH in June of 1940. Florence graduated from UH in 1940 with a B. Ed in Education with a minor in music and sub-minor in voice music.
Florence then attended Columbia University Teacher’s College earning a Master’s Degree in Education in 1941. Buster Richardson was then attending Yale Medical School and they dated during the 1940-41 school year.
On December 7, 1941, back on Kauai, Florence was immediately recruited for the Women’s Air Raid Defense [WARD], taught social studies at Waimea High School and waited out the war.
B. Allen Richardson and Florence Ching were married July 21 1945 at Kawaiaha’o Church. They had two children, a son, Allen B. Richardson M.D. [Pokey] who predeceased her, and a daughter, Allene [Jay] Suemori.
Florence taught 8th grade social studies at Aiea Intermediate.In January 1952 she was called to be the substitute Administrator at Stevenson Intermediate to move the school from its old campus to the new campus by Punchbowl.
Once her two children were in school, Florence was a stay at home mom. 16 years later she went back to work with the DOE as a Manpower Training counselor. During those times at home, Florence was an active supporter in her son’s local and national swimming career with Coach Soichi Sakamoto of Hawaii Swim Club. She was President of the State and County Medical Society Women’s Auxilliary.
She and Buster traveled extensively through Europe and the Orient until December 30, 1981 when she lost her beloved Buster. Thereafter she continued to travel with both children and her grandchildren interisland and internationally.
Florence loved to quilt Hawaiian quilts, participating in numerous groups including Kawaiaha’o Church’s quilting group, producing one for each grandchild. She also was an active mah jongg player and taught all her children and grandchildren. She played with her group of ladies up until her early 90’s.
Right before her 100 birthday Florence went into Queens because of pneumonia. It was a pretty dicey time. Mom turned 100 on April 22, 2020, during the early onset of the covid-19 pandemic. The plans to have her Century party at Waialae Country Club were canceled. Instead, respecting social distancing, grandchildren Andrew and Annie with their families, surprised her, came over and sang "Happy Birthday" outside on the patio. Up to the time of her passing, Florence was still asking about her 101st birthday party.
She is survived by her daughter Allene [Jay] Suemori, daughter-in-law Pokey Richardson, grandchildren Andrew [Jessica] Richardson, Ann [JP] Wright, Puna [Allie] Richardson, and John Suemori; great- grandchildren Keoni & Kalei Wright, Raleigh Mahina & Akahai Richardson.
Services with covid protocols, Social Distancing and Masks required, will be held at Kawaiaha’o Church on Saturday, May 8, visitation 9:00 a.m., services 10:30 a.m., followed by a reception on the lawn.
Arrangements Provided By: Nuuanu Memorial Park & Mortuary LLC
Notice #: 0001324145-01