Tooken Richardson Cade

Tooken Cade was born Dolores Ann Moran in Detroit, Michigan, in 1924. After her parents divorced, she lived with her mother and an aunt. She attended St. Mary’s Academy in Windsor, Ontario, and during her freshman year at the University of Detroit, the Empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Cade got a job in a federal bank writing checks for businesses and individuals contracting to build materials for the government. She only made $80.00 a month at the federal bank, so when a representative of the United Service Organizations (USO) started recruiting young women, she seized the opportunity.

Her first job was in the sub-basement assisting at the photographer’s booth. Cade met her first husband, F. William “Rich” Richardson, when he came to have his picture taken. After a few dates the young sailor presented Cade with a bracelet inscribed with the word “Tooken.” He said, “If somebody asks you out, just put out your hand and say, ‘I’m tooken.’” The name stuck. At the USO in Detroit, Cade made $35 a week but gave up the job when she married Rich in 1944. They lived near the naval base in Norfolk, Virginia, while Rich completed his training.

In December 1945 Cade had the first of her four sons. In the 1960s she and Rich moved their family to Rome, Georgia, with his job in carpet sales. Rich died in 1983, and Cade later married Clarence Cade. She volunteered at the Floyd Medical Center for many years and joined the Rome, Georgia chapter of the American Rosie the Riveter Association in 2010.

Detroit Childhood

"My dad's name was Charles, my mother's name was Elsie, but they divorced in 1932...It was such a small deal. I didn't know they were divorced. My mother never told me. My dad never told me. And I found out when I was thirteen…

St. Mary's Academy

"My mother said, 'I know this wonderful, wonderful school, and the girls all have all these toys to play with and each other, and nobody’s ever lonesome, and there's a big bedroom, and there’ll be thirty beds up there, and…

The University of Detroit

"Well, it just absolutely scared me to death because the day it came over the radio, I was taking a nap and—curled up in my bed—and my parents had gone out for a walk, and I couldn’t tell anybody. So as soon as they got home, why, I said,…

First Job

"I found a job in a federal bank, and I worked in the 'plan corps' division, and I don’t know to this day what 'plan corps' means, but when people had a business, and they wanted to do something for the government, they…

The United Service Organizations (USO)

"We came on Saturday, and my girlfriend from the U of D [University of Detroit] went with me, and we both got assigned to work on Saturday from six to twelve, or maybe it was seven to eleven, I don’t remember, but anyway, we were coming there,…

Meeting Her Husband

"That’s where I was the night that my young man [Rich] came bouncing in, and he was in the Navy, and he had come in with his buddy...You could always walk in there and there was always somebody there to feed you. So they were just looking,…

Dating in Wartime

"We went out to the base, and we danced and we danced and we danced, and I wore a brand new dress. It was purple, and it was real pretty and soft but it wrinkled. It was made out of rayon, because that was all that was available, and I was very…

A New Name

"He proposed in three weeks because he had been transferred to Chicago. He said, 'I’ve got to go,' and he said, 'I just can’t help it,' and he said, 'I was just sick about it. I didn’t wanna marry y—I do wanna…

Wartime Wedding

"The reason we got married [in Ithaca] was because we weren’t sure how much vacation time he was gonna get. We didn’t dare take a chance. So instead of having a nice, long dress, I had a nice beige suit and a cute little hat instead of a…

Naval Station Norfolk

"Originally he didn’t want me to go to Norfolk because he said, 'That place just is crawling with the Navy,' and he said, 'I don’t think it’s a safe place for a pretty girl.' But he said, 'We’ll go down together…

The Fairmont Hotel

"We got on the train. The train took three days and three nights. When we got to Omaha, there was another ensign and his wife on the train, and he said, 'Where are you gonna stay when you get to San Francisco?' And we said, 'We…

Separated in Seattle

"When he reported in at the navy office, they transferred us to Seattle. So we had to come home and pack what little we had unpacked, and get down to the station and get on a train that took us...took us all day, straight north, to Seattle. And…

First Born

"After his ship moved away from Japan, they went on down to the Hawaiian Isles, and they went to Pearl Harbor and picked up a lot of sailors that had enough hours in to get out. They chugged in to San Diego in November right around Thanksgiving…

Moving to Georgia

"He worked for a company out in Chattanooga, and he was the national sales manager of that one, and they sold it to some other company, and at that point in time, my husband said, 'They’re gonna pick our heads free, and then they’ll let…

The American Rosie the Riveter Association

"Well, you know I wasn’t even interested in it, but somebody had found out my name and told Jane Tucker, and Jane Tucker called me, and she said, 'Would you come and tell us how you got your name?' 'Oh,' I said, 'I’d…
Watch Tooken Richardson Cade's Legacy Series videos here.