Ryan Yonny Koyama passed away on September 18, 2012 in a tragic automobile accident. Born in the Gila River War Relocation Center on December 14, 1942, Yonny and father John, mother Terry, sister Marilyn and brother Sanford settled in Gardena, California after World War II. Yonny graduated from Gardena High School in 1960, but not before meeting the love of his life, Sachiko Ishihara, who attended nearby Torrance High School. In June of 1963, his sophomore year at UCLA, Yonny married Sachi at the Gardena Buddhist Church. After attending UCLA, Yonny graduated from the Southern California College of Optometry, the springboard into a 37-year career alongside his father in a pioneering optometric practice based in Los Angeles and Gardena. Passionate about both basketball and giving back to the community, Yonny helped found the “Friends of Richard” organization, now known as the South Bay F.O.R., a South Bay Asian sports organization in which thousands of area youth have participated in its 33 years. Along the way, Yonny coached countless teams, teaching generations of kids the right way to play, and Johnny Wooden’s famous UCLA high post offense. The number and depth of Yonny’s interests were matched only by the energy with which he pursued them. Classic cars, entrepreneurship, magic, the Lakers, Japanese culture and furniture, the 50’s lifestyle, playing the drums, home improvement and woodworking, and karaoke were just a few of the hobbies Yonny threw himself into. Yonny loved to entertain at the family home that he personally remodeled over the years, and that housed the many Japanese antiques he and Sachi had collected together. Those fortunate enough to know Yonny will never find a more giving, generous, or fun-loving friend, host, or mentor. Family, though, was what powered Yonny. Sachi, daughter Leslie and her late husband, Hal, son John and his wife Michele, along with grandkids Sachi, Ford, John Ryan, Jake and Joey were the center of his life were the sources of endless pride, laughter and contentment. Yonny is survived by his wife Sachi; children Leslie and John; siblings Marilyn and Sanford; and the many members of the Koyama, Iino, Mooko, Ting, Ishihara and Carlson clans. A remembrance of Yonny will be held on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Green Hills Memorial Park, in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. A gathering to celebrate Yonny’s life will be held at a later date.
Green Hills Mortuary