HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow/KGMB/KHNL) – A World War II veteran is giving the word commitment a whole new meaning in a story that’s now going viral.
Ted Richardson is 93-years-old, but he doesn’t let his age, weather or anything else stop him from visiting his wife’s grave at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
In fact, he’s usually the first one there when the gates open at 6:30a.m.
“I always tell her when I go up there, ‘Payback time,'” he said.
Richardson says he was just 16 when he met his late wife Florence, who was just 14 at the time, in their hometown in Pennsylvania in 1941.
“I was standing in the hall. The classes were changing and I saw a beautiful girl. I went home and told my daddy that night I saw the girl I was going to marry,” he said.
After high school, Richardson became a U.S. Marine and fought in World War II.
He says through those years he took a picture of Florence everywhere he went, keeping his love always close to his heart.
“She was beautiful. I didn’t mind looking at her all the time,” he said with a chuckle.
After the war, the couple was married.
Ted became a school teacher, Florence worked for the FBI and the couple had one son.
“I never heard her say a bad word,” Ted said.
Ted and Florence eventually moved to Hawaii in the 1970s, where they planned to grow old together.
After 72 years of marriage, Florence passed away five years ago.
“For 72 years she lost her temper only once — in 72 years! And it was my fault,” Ted said.
Since then, Ted has dedicated his life to ‘paying her back’ for the years of love and patience. He visits her grave with flowers each time.