Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center
Our Stories


Ahead of Her Time

Margaret Richardson Has Always Done Things Her Own Way

A true trailblazer, Margaret Richardson made the decision to forgo the traditional route expected of women of her era. In the ‘man’s world’ of the late 1950s, she became the vice president and business manager for one of the nation’s largest Buick dealerships at 
the time.
She earned the respect of her peers when, being offered the job of business manager, she demanded and received the same salary offered to male candidates for the same job. “Since I was capable, I should be compensated appropriately,” says Margaret.
Margaret’s interest in accounting, along with her can-do spirit, was nurtured by her business-minded mother who owned and operated an independent grocery store. “I was raised in my mother’s store where I learned to count money at the age of five.”  Later, Margaret worked her way up to become head accountant at the local Chevrolet dealership.

Confidence in her own business skills gave young Margaret the courage to leave her hometown of Sharon, Pennsylvania in 1947. Armed with $200 in her pocket, and her knowledge of the automotive business, she headed for greener pastures in California.
After two decades of success on her own terms, Margaret met and fell for Howard Richardson in 1965. The two were married and went on to open and co-operate Howard Chevrolet in Newport Beach. Many happy years of marriage followed before a ‘silent’ heart attack claimed Howard’s life in 1989.

These days, an active and vibrant Margaret can be spotted cheerfully mingling at Hoag events such as the Circle 1000 annual brunch. Unlike many in their 90s, Margaret shows no signs of slowing down. Computer savvy, she manages her finances, corresponds with friends and family and makes custom cards on her PC.  She was even able to troubleshoot a recent printer glitch. “I just told the tech, I’m 94, so you need to speak slowly and clearly,” she laughs.

Strategic Philanthropy

Hoag Hospital Newport Beach is Margaret’s hospital. She raves about the treatment she received from physicians, nurses and staff who’ve seen her through a few procedures over the years. As a philanthropist supporting Hoag and other organizations that were important to both her and Howard, Margaret is very strategic about her giving.

“I started using charitable gift annuities as a way to offer my support while also creating an income stream for myself,” she says. “I hope that people will become familiar with this way of giving. It’s such a good investment, both for the donor and for Hoag.”

When deciding where to direct her gift, Margaret chose the Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center. “Like a lot of people, I have developed Type 2 diabetes as I’ve matured,” adds Margaret. “I appreciate what the center is doing for people living with diabetes, and I know my gift will make a difference.”

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