Melea Ann Ryufuku Riddle


With heavy hearts we announce the passing of Melea Ann Ryufuku Riddle (34) on April 12, 2023, in Summerville, South Carolina. 

She began her life journey on April 26, 1988, in Truckee, California. A true cosmopolitan, Melea lived in New Jersey, Colorado, California, South Carolina (North Augusta, Aiken, Lexington, Summerville) and Japan (Naka-mura, Tokai-mura, Tokyo). Melea spoke English and Japanese and attended schools in the States and Japan. 

As a well-known animal lover, Melea had the opportunity to care for many creatures, and made the world a better place for all the fur babies she adopted. She was also multi-talented — an excellent chef and gourmet, painter, crafter, gardener, reader, and life-long learner, she was a “Renaissance woman.” 

Melea loved fiercely and deeply and faced her medical challenges with bravery and tenacity — a wonderful exemplar to her nieces and nephews. She was beautiful, inside and out, and adored by all who had the privilege of knowing her. Her loss is keenly felt. 

As the youngest of six children, Melea is survived by her loving and supportive partner, Zach Riddle, grandmother Dorothy Koonce, parents Susumu and Debra Ryufuku, and siblings Tonya McDonald, Tina Shaw, Kirk Dahle, Erika Petras and Amanda Pierson Ryufuku. A memorial will be held on May 13, 2023 in North Augusta. Attendees are encouraged to reach out to Melea’s family for details.