True love and devotion exist, and one man from Waikiki, Hawaii, embodied it perfectly. After his beloved wife passed away, he never stopped visiting her grave, bringing flowers as payback for all she did for him during their 72-year marriage.
Ninety-three-year-old Ted Richardson met the love of his life when he was only 16. He still remembers going home and telling his dad that he saw the girl he wanted to marry.
While he had the foresight for their future wedding, Ted couldn’t have imagined the great romance and decades-long commitment ahead of them. Theirs is a love story for the ages.
The Devoted Love Birds
Ted served his country as a marine in World War II, and while he was away from home, he kept a photo of a girl named Florence close by. He looked at it often, confessing: “She was beautiful. I didn’t mind looking at her all the time.”
When the veteran’s service ended, he didn’t waste any time before marrying the girl of his dreams—so a lifetime of love and laughter started. Ted worked as a teacher, and the FBI employed his wife.
Together they had a son, Ted Jnr. and life was perfect. The couple enjoyed 72 years of marital bliss in which Florence remained tender-hearted, only losing her temper with Ted once.
Thanks to Ted’s recordkeeping, he could share exactly how many times he had visited his wife’s grave from her passing until 2018—the number is unbelievable.
The Veteran’s Heartwarming Routine
Ted was in awe of his wife’s dedication to their union and family, cherishing her every chance he could until her passing in 2013. When she died, he lost his best friend and quickly developed a routine that allowed him to continue honoring Florence.
Six days a week, no matter the weather, Ted visited his wife’s burial site at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. He took three buses from his Waikiki residence and was usually the first person there at 6:30 a.m., eagerly waiting to get in.
He Brought Her Flowers as Payback
The widower spent most of his time tending to the area around Florence’s grave, cutting the grass and placing fresh flowers in front of the plaque that read, “Wife of CPL Ted Richardson USMC. Beloved American Mother.”
He often opted to bring colorful carnations for his wife because they started as tiny buds, opening slowly over two or three days. The security staff at the cemetery knew Ted well, driving him up the hill to his wife’s gravesite every day.
For Ted, the act of service was something he called payback time. He considered it an offer in return for all the years Florence served and loved him as a doting wife.
The Special Arrangement with His Church
Thanks to Ted’s recordkeeping, he could share exactly how many times he had visited his wife’s grave from her passing until 2018—the number is unbelievable. He had taken 1,300 trips to her gravesite!
The widower even made plans for the future when he was no longer around to continue his routine. He asked his church to bring flowers to Florence’s grave once a month. But while he was still able, he had no plans of stopping his daily visits, sharing:
“I’ll keep going as long as I can go. God will tell me when I’ve had enough.”