Centenarians honored in birthday bash at nursing home - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Centenarians honored in birthday bash at nursing home

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Leahi Hospital, as part of National Nursing Home Week activities, recognized its oldest residents on Wednesday.

The staff honored Florence Imai, who will turn 104 years old on December 1, Evelyn Kuioka, who turned 100 years old on February 7, Yoshiko Fukuchi, who will turn 101 years old on September 26, and Loretta Tanaka, who will turn 100 years old on July 1. Read more on each centenarian at the end of this story.

"This is a chance for us to celebrate a real and sometime overlooked milestone," said Vincent Lee, Leahi Hospital chief executive officer. "Our staff recognizes the importance of caring for these individuals who impacted so many lives even at a nursing-home setting. This birthday celebration provides us with an opportunity to recognize these unique and outstanding ladies."

Mrs. Florence Imai was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was the second of 10 children who had to drop out of school after her 6th grade to help her mother take care of her siblings after her father unexpectedly passed away at a young age. Following her marriage, Mrs. Imai worked at her husband's accounting business. After retirement, Florence volunteered her time at Maluhia where she enjoyed singing and loved to entertain its residents. As her independence began to decline, Mrs. Imai began attending Maluhia Adult Day Health. Subsequently, Mrs. Imai was admitted to Leahi Hospital in January 2011. Her secret to a long life is, "Try your best to be good to others and don't let them bother you!"

Mrs. Evelyn Kuioka was born in Hawi, Hawaii. She relocated to Honolulu in light of the medical care she needed for an ear infection and lived with her grandmother. Evelyn married Richard Kuioka in 1938. They had 2 sons and 2 daughters. She was honored to work as a maid for the infamous Cook family, and with her husband ran a family farm growing carrots, lima beans and daikon. At the age of 97, Mrs. Kuioka enjoyed the activities provided by Leahi Hospital Adult Day Health. Subsequently, in June 2012, she was admitted to Leahi Hospital. Mrs. Kuioka's secret to a long life is, "Just work! Work from sunrise to sunset!"

Mrs. Yoshiko Fukuchi was born in Lahaina, Maui. She attended Kamehameha IV School up to 8th grade. In 1924, at age 12, moved to Honolulu to work as a housemaid for the T. Sumida family. Yoshiko married Takashi Fukuchi in 1939, They had 3 sons. Starting in 1941, Mrs. Fukuchi managed their family store, Pawaa Store. They sold the store in 1972. Following retirement Mrs. Fukuchi got involved with the Buddhist church women's club. Her family describes her as a quiet, laid back, easy going individual who loved to cook Japanese food. Following a fall at home in 2003, and subsequent rehabilitation efforts, Yoshiko was admitted to Leahi Hospital in 2004. Mrs. Fukuchi's secret to a long life is, "Don't eat too much meat and eat a healthy diet!"

Mrs. Loretta Tanaka was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. After graduating from McKinley High School, she earned a nursing degree from the St. Francis School of Nursing, and completed her residency program at St. Mary's Hospital in Missouri in 1941. She returned to Hawaii and worked as a registered nurse at Kula Hospital, Hana Hospital, and then Kapiolani Hospital. She and her husband Mack had 3 children. Following her retirement in 1980, Mr. Tanaka traveled abroad in the U.S.., as well as to Mexico and Canada. In 2008, during her mid 90s, Loretta began losing her independence as her falls became more frequent. She was admitted to Leahi Hospital in 2008. Mrs. Tanaka's secret to a long and satisfying life is, "Trust and believe in God!"

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