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Friends and family celebrate Pikake Rickard’s retirement from the U.S. Postal Service

By BY LOUISE ROCKETT - | Jan 15, 2021

Pikake Rickard (center) was honored with a surprise drive-by celebration of her retirement on Jan. 2.

LAHAINA — If you know Pikake Rickard, you’re blessed. Just ask her family and friends. She has a most gentle demeanor — a lifted spirit she shares with the hundreds, dare I say thousands, she has encountered throughout her career.

At the turn of 2021 on Jan. 2, she was recognized with a surprise drive-by celebration of her 30-year retirement from the U.S. Postal Service.

She delivered the mail following multiple routes over the years.

“I came to the Post Office full-time in ’82, but I worked there before then. I worked as relief for Primrose Keahi,” she recalled. “I took her place when she retired.

“Primrose’s route was the Old Olowalu, then she had Wainee Village. From Wainee Village, she went to Puukolii, and then down to Kaanapali Shores, Papakea, Mahana, Maui Kai and 3500 Honokowai Kau Hale — the whole Honokowai area that was hers,” Pikake described

The postal service wasn’t her only occupation. She had two jobs, like so many on this island.

The 76-year-old was born and raised in Paia, a member of the Hokoana ‘ohana. She graduated from Old Maui High School.

“My girlfriends and I came from the country. We had no money, so we trained — living five girls in an apartment. Officially, January 2, 1963, the Sheraton opened, and that’s when we started to serve,” she remembered.

“I liked what I was doing and worked there for 38 years and retired at 55 years old,” Pikake added.

Tekiri Villa-Rickard is Pikake’s eldest granddaughter. She told the Lahaina News about how Pikake met Scotty Rickard in an elevator while both were working at the Sheraton.

“They fell in love, and she was a Lahaina Girl from then on. Together they have three sons, 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren,” Tekiri added.

She played in the women’s slow pitch softball league for the Aloha ‘Ohana and paddled for Napili Canoe Club.

Toddy Lilikoi is a longtime friend. They met one morning at breakfast at the Sheraton. Pikake was her server.

“She is just one of the most open, warmhearted welcoming person I know. She is easy to communicate with right off the bat. That’s just her personality; she just welcomes everybody — doesn’t matter who you are. Spreads that aloha to everyone,” Lilikoi said.

“She’s a good friend,” Lilikoi continued. “She is always there for me. It’s a collective thing when you have good friends like that. They’re there whether you ask for them or not.”

‘Ohana and community are important values to the Rickards. Their three sons, Dean, Todd and Troy, are West Side standouts.

Dean serves as the Maui County Deputy Chief of Police and co-coaches for the winning Lahainaluna football team. Todd works for the Department of Public Works and coaches for the Lady Lunas basketball team. Troy is a Department of Water Supply employee.

What’s next for Pikake?

“For now,” she said. “I’m just soaking it all in. I’m going to stay home with my husband, but I’m still going to go to Joe’s Smokehouse on the weekends.”

“Just being around them,” Lilikoi observed, “You have to sit in awe about how much family love there is. They love their grandpa and grandma; they would do just about anything for them.”

Tekiri was thankful for their presence in her life.

“My grandmother, Pikake, is one of the most loving, outgoing and selfless women I know. She and my papa has taught us so much about life and true love. If you were to ask any one of her children or grandchildren who their role models are… it would be them!

“My grandmother is Miss Aloha and for good reasons. She loves to mingle and chat with anyone and everyone. She’s a great story-teller. She’s always ready for a good time, and everyone always enjoys her company. We are so blessed to have her in our lives; and, as she always says, ‘It’s all good!'”