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Wish Blog

Aug 30, 2018

Patricia's legacy lives on through a life-changing gift

Patricia Beck
Patricia Beck's passion for travel and education inspires a generous gift for two local wish children.

Eighty-nine-year-old Patricia Beck lived an amazing life. Full of adventure and with an insatiable desire to learn, Patricia travelled to nearly every country in the world. She reached the summits of Mt. Fuji, Mt. Kilimanjaro, and even Mt. Everest. She explored Europe and Africa, and when she liked a place, she stayed. Her adventures started when she was a young journalist living and writing in Germany. But they continued throughout her life; in her 60s, she visited Africa and liked it so well that she stayed an extra 10 months. While she was an only child and had never married, her incredible journeys and bright personality won her friends across the world—many of them here in Hawaii. Having lived here for more than 60 years, Patricia made countless friends through sailing clubs on Oahu and Maui as well as through her successful career as a realtor. Ten years ago, Patricia met a very special friend who lived in the same building: Sue Leonard.

The two were fast friends, and their bond carried Patricia through the toughest times of her life, as she aged and coped with emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other health issues. After Patricia’s health started declining last year, Sue called her several times a day to check in. She did her grocery shopping, helped plan her will, and, most importantly, listened to her stories…stories of travel and adventure, of winning a trophy after skiing down Mauna Kea, of making friends on trains while traveling throughout in Europe. Though Patricia could no longer travel, her passion for travel and education inspired a generous desire to help others live out their own dreams.

“Her main goal was that if somebody travels, they’re going to learn so much,” said Sue. And she wanted to extend this philosophy to children in Hawaii, broadening their horizons and helping them learn and live life to the fullest.

In the last few months of her life, Patricia expressed her wishes to Sue and told her about all the charitable work she hoped to support. Now, four months after Patricia’s passing, Sue is carrying on her legacy, facilitating gifts to charities across Hawaii benefiting children, including Make-A-Wish Hawaii. True to what Patricia would’ve wanted, Sue chose to adopt a wish for two wish children and siblings who wished for laptop computers to help with school. These laptops will not only help the siblings in their academic careers as they begin thinking about college, but they’ll also “be good for the kids because they can see the world even if they can’t go and travel,” said Sue.

Patricia’s legacy will live on through this life-changing gift, impacting the lives of these wish children, their family, and their friends and neighbors.

“Patricia told me if I ever saw anybody in need, I should just help them,” said Sue. She knows Patricia would be proud to see her gift go toward making dreams become reality.

A legacy gift like Patricia's can help ensure that every eligible child receives a wish. Required IRA Distribution at age 70 1/2 can be designated to Make-A-Wish Hawaii. You can also name Make-A-Wish Hawaii as a beneficiary in your retirement plan, will, or trust.

To learn more about planned giving, click here or contact Cyndi Sheehan at

About this Blog

Wish Blog gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the wonderful work happening at Make-A-Wish® Hawaii. See how the wishes of local keiki battling critical illnesses come together and how they change lives forever. Hear directly from those who work or volunteer here, or from those in your neighborhood who have been transformed by a wish in some way. Discover why we are so committed to achieving our vision of granting the wish of every eligible child, every year.

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Make-A-Wish® Hawaii
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