Isako S. ‘Yuko’ Richter
Hampton – Yuko Richter, 81, a long time resident of Hampton, Virginia, passed away on September 5, 2018. Yuko was born in Sendai, Japan on December 17, 1936.
As half of an Air Force officer/Air Force wife team, there were numerous transfers during her husband, Richard’s active duty, to include Australia, Japan, and various stateside assignments. After Richard’s retirement they settled in Hampton, Virginia.
Yuko was preceded in death, by her husband Colonel Richard Richter USAF (Retired) and her son Thomas Bender. She is survived by her sons, Robert Bender of Henderson NV and Rick Richter of Virginia Beach VA and her two grandchildren, Dean and Grace Richter.
Always competitive, in her early years Yuko enjoyed water skiing and bowling. In later years, she took up Contract Bridge, ending up as a Diamond Life Master.
Yuko was a funny story teller and a warm-hearted friend and will always be remembered as the loving wife of Richard, and the loving mother of her boys.
As it was her wish, she will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with her husband Richard on 28 November 2018 at 10:00am. Any memorials can be given to the Peninsular Bridge Club.
Top 10 Things Her Son Rick Will Always Remember and Cherish About His Mom
10. She was such a giving person. And I don’t mean the $20 bills she gave her grandkids. I mean the scarves she knitted and gave to friends. The meals and clothes she gave the guy who cut her grass. The Farm Fresh fried chicken she gave to the person who fixed her AC. She gave when she didn’t have to, but she wanted to.
9. She spoiled my dog Barney rotten. My mom never allowed a pet in the house when I was growing up but she just loved my lab mix Barney. When I came over to visit after I graduated college Barney was the first to eat in the house – a specially prepared steak or chicken meal for Barney.
8. My mom was a damn good cook. She could cook anything and I swear to this day that her fried rice, Mexican pizza and clam sauce and pasta with garlic bread was the best I’ve ever had. Now, she couldn’t cook fried chicken like a Southern lady (she removed the skin and pan fried the chicken!) but everything else was on point!
7. Like all moms, she was full of life lessons and advice. Sigh/Haha! My favorite that I heard until my early 30’s was: get health insurance and get married!
6. She was one of the best bridge players in the state and man alive was she competitive. Growing up my parents didn’t fight a lot, but when they did it was about the errors my dad made as my mom’s bridge partner.
5. She loved to tell stories. And as I got older the majority of them were about me when I was growing up. And as her mental acuity waned these last couple of years, she tended to the tell the same story a couple of times when my kids and I came for a visit – to the delight of my kids since the stories usually poked fun at me. IE “When Rick was in high school he had such a small waist. I worried about him eating. But after he discovered chicken and dumplings at Virginia Tech, he didn’t have a small waist anymore, so I stopped worrying.” Dean loved that story!
4. She was competitive and she taught me to never quit. Before she broke her kneecap in 3 places she ran 3 miles a day. After her knee injury she walked 3 miles a day. And when I would call and ask if she was doing OK after a snow storm, she would be just getting in from walking 3 miles. “It’s only snow.” was her answer to why she walked that day.
3. She taught me about “saving for a rainy day.”
Her and my father never bought anything outrageous and taught me the valuable lesson of working hard for your money – until your money can work hard for you.
2. She was strong, resilient and stubborn. Each of those traits that I have. There wasn’t anything she couldn’t do and nothing she wouldn’t do for her friends and family. I called her the “battle ax” because of how tough she was. Broken knee, burst appendix, cracked open head. Nothing slowed her down and nothing was impossible for her. I guess when as a child you survive WWII your perspective of what’s hard or tough changes.
1. Looking over my favorite picture of my mom with her grandkids reminded me how she absolutely adored and spoiled them. And it reminded me of how she was with me – her love, advice, blunt talk and laughs helped mold me into the man and father that I am today. She will be missed and loved and I will always be grateful that she was my mother.