Florence Mina Rishi

Florence Mina Rishi

July 16, 1930 - March 02, 2020
Monarch Beach CA

Florence Mina Rishi

July 16, 1930 - March 02, 2020
Monarch Beach CA


Florence Mina Rishi
July 16, 1930 – March 2, 2020
Dana Point, California

Florence Mina Rishi, beloved mother and grandmother, family matriarch, accomplished careerwoman, avid green thumb, exceptional cook and tireless giver, left us on March 2, 2020.

Florence was born on July 16, 1930 in Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii to William and Emily Ayers. She was the third youngest among six sisters and two brothers. She graduated from Saint Anthony High School, Wailuku, in 1949, and then graduated from the Saint Francis Hospital School of Nursing, Honolulu, in 1952, becoming a Registered Nurse” her lifelong profession. As an RN, she rose quickly into positions of responsibility, from charge nurse to shift supervisor to head nurse, Director of Nursing and, ultimately, was promoted to Assistant Administrator of Nursing at Saint Francis Hospital in Honolulu. Later in her career she was the Director of Risk Management at FHP Hospital, Fountain Valley, California. The “secret” to her success was simple hard work, being organized and always being prepared. She took pride in her career accomplishments and, in retirement, would not hesitate to remind anyone of it if she ever felt slighted.

Florence was a dedicated, selfless mother who raised a son and daughter as a single mother throughout most of their lives. She worked tirelessly to provide for them and to be sure that they never wanted for anything. She was also a dedicated, hands-on grandmother to her three grandchildren, helping her daughter and son-in-law to raise them from birth through to adulthood. She moved with them to Dana Point, California and always lived nearby, sharing holiday celebrations and joining them on family travels everywhere over the years.

Florence, our mother, was the hardest working person we have ever known. Even in retirement, she always rose before the sun to set about the day’s chores, which tended to center around work in her garden, her pride and joy and singular passion. She would often keep working in her garden until well after sunset in order to complete a task. “I just came in from working in my garden,” she would confess over the phone, with impish pride, well after dark. Her mother was similarly a passionate green thumb and this shared interest undoubtedly connected them. Florence loved to browse through books on landscaping in order to gain ideas for her own garden, then set about to change things up and buy new plants in the never-ending evolution of her garden. And she always maintained a small slice of Hawaii by planting lush tropical Hawaiian plants like giant hapu’u tree ferns, colorful ti leaves and fragrant ginger. She was also a talented cook, known for her Hawaiian-style macaroni and potato salads, fried rice and many tasty signature local Hawaiian dishes. She also loved music, especially Hawaiian melodies from the 1950s and 1960s, and loved to play and sing along to her favorite tunes. Later we would find out she was quite an accomplished yodeler back in high school.

In her later years, she constantly spoke of “moving back to Hawaii,” which she considered her true home. More recently, she would say “I miss Mama,” her mother, and wanted to visit her. She wanted to return home in her death to rejoin her mother, father and departed siblings and we will honor her wishes. Florence leaves behind a son, Jon Rishi, and daughter, Sabrina Linnemann, son-in-law Gary Linnemann, and three grandchildren: Rachael, Ian and Claire Linnemann. She is also survived by two sisters, Geraldine Moriki of Kaneohe, Hawaii and Loretta Nagamine of Kahului, Hawaii.


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10 responses to Florence Mina Rishi

  1. Grandma Flo, I love you and miss you so much but I am happy that you are resting peacefully in a Hawai’i now. One of my favorite childhood memories were our trips to Maui when we would stay at the Maui Seaside Hotel with Aunty Gerry & Jennifer. I loved waking up with you before the sun rose so you could make your coffee and sit on the lanai watching the ocean and reading your paper. I remember we had so much fun visiting family, and I loved that we shared those trips together. You were like a second mother to Ian, Claire and I so you will always have a big part of my heart. Rest peacefully, I love you.

  2. Dear Florence,

    You were a source of strength and comfort to the beautiful family you raised. I could see you were wholly and unconditionally loved by all. Let your wisdom continue to guide as you will be greatly missed.
    Thank you for your kindness to both me and Dominique. It was always appreciated. With love, Donna

  3. Dominique says:

    I’m so lucky to have known you! You welcomed me into your family with open arms and was always so gracious towards me. I have so many precious memories with you and your family that I will always cherish. It was clear how much your family adored you and I am incredibly thankful to have witnessed it. It was great seeing how much you loved being around Claire, it always made my heart feel so full.

  4. Your mom was a friend of my father who lived away from our family in beautiful Hawaii for 40 years. He got to know Mrs. Florence there and they kept in touch for years. My dad, Harry Hansen, passed away about 10 years ago but I’ve been going throughcards that he got. I’m holding one now from your sweet mom. I wanted to look her up and thank her when I found this obituary. My heartfelt sympathies are with you all. I enjoyed reading about her on this post. May God comfort you all in this difficult time .

  5. Dear Friends,

    I worked for Florence as a clinical nurse specialist for just a few months back in 1974-75 at St. Francis. I had to leave because my grandmother had unexpected cancer surgery and asked me to come home to Pennsylvania. Florence was a kind and gracious Director of Nursing full of wisdom in her leadership style. I later became a Director of Nursing myself in Boston and Florence was a role model I never forgot. I wish I had kept in touch with her. I understand your great sense of loss. You were blessed to have her. I was blessed to know her. I am deeply sorry for your loss and pray the Lord will comfort you in His care.

    John C. Lawrence.

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