Cover photo for Maria Kyoko Melton's Obituary
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1975 Maria Kyoko 2021

Maria Kyoko Melton

January 6, 1975 — March 28, 2021

View Video Tribute View Funeral Webcast Maria Kyoko Melton, 46, Director at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and for the past two years Instructor of MBA Faculty at Trevecca Nazarene University and Adjunct Faculty Member at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, died Sunday, March 28, 2021 at Maury Regional Medical Center. Funeral services will be conducted Saturday at 2:00 P.M. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home. The family will visit with friends Saturday from 1:00 P.M. until service time at the funeral home. Condolences may be extended online at www.oakesandnichols.com. Born January 6, 1975 in Grosse Pointe, Michigan Maria was the daughter of the late Kyoko Arai Melton. She graduated in 1993 from East Lansing High School, and in 1999 from Georgia Tech with a dual degree, major in Industrial Engineering and minor in Industrial Occupational Psychology. Maria earned her Master’s degree in Business Administration with concentration in Health Care Management from Loyola University in Chicago and a Doctorate in Education from Trevecca Nazarene University. A lifelong learner and mentor, Maria was passionate about serving others with a focus on kindness, equality, and respect. She dedicated herself to leaving everything better than she found it, seeking to bring out the best in people and projects, professionally and personally. In the quieter moments, Maria spent her downtime enjoying her happy place: a custom-built home with her horses, dogs, and fiancé Mike. Survivors include her fiancé, Michael Sojka of Columbia; brothers, Christopher Melton of Austin, Texas; Christian Arai of Chicago, Illinois; and her fur babies, dogs, Rockey, Rosey, Willie Bear, Riley, her beloved Buddy-Willey; horses, Raven, Olivia, No Sir, Roxie, and King; many close friends and colleagues. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Maria’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital: https://www.stjude.org/donate/donate-to-st-jude.html?frequency_selected=2&sc_icid=mem-lp-donate-bttn-top

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, April 3, 2021

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home

320 West 7th Street, Columbia, TN 38401

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Funeral Service

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home

320 West 7th Street, Columbia, TN 38401

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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