In Memoriam: Melvin Addison Richley, Jr.

NEWPORT BEACH — Melvin Addison Richley, Jr., a sixth generation Californian who was an active member of Lido Isle Yacht Club and launched a boat-building company, has died; he was 90.

Richley relocated to Newport Beach in 1958, arriving at Orange County’s central coast after being born and raised in Los Angeles. He was an avid sailor and Lido Isle resident, according to his obituary posted on the legacy.com website. The obituary added Richley was an active member of Lido Isle YC, Yacht Racing Union and Southern California Yachting Association. He also led the effort to build the Antibes boat garden at Lido Isle Community Association.

Richley also launched his own boat-building company, according to his legacy.com obituary. The company built Newport 16s, 27s, 30s and 41s throughout the 1960s.

The sailor and entrepreneur reportedly purchased Amante, a Choat 48, in 1982 and entered her into several races to Catalina, Hawai’i, Mexico and San Francisco.

Richley’s family arrived in California with Father Junipero Serra and the Spanish Army. Richley himself was born in 1928 and graduated from Loyola High School. After high school he enrolled at the U.S. Maritime Academy, where he graduated at age 20 as a 2nd Class Engineer. He later went to USC and became a C.P.A., graduating second in his class. Ridley would work at Arthur Andersen and, according to his obituary, had John Wayne as a client.

Richley served in the Navy as a lieutenant during the Korean War and was the chief engineer on Tucker, a destroyer. Ridley would later graduate from USC Law School.

His wife, three sons and six grandchildren survive the former boating entrepreneur; Ridley was predeceased by his first wife, Francis June Richley.

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