Steve Crystle Riddle, 81, met Jesus His Savior Sunday, September 12, 2021.
He was born July 17, 1942, in Monroe, Mich., to the Rev. Crystle Henry (C.H.) Riddle and Elizabeth Dekalaita Riddle.
He was proud of his heritage. His grandmother, Dorica Sumac, and grandfather, Samuel Dekalaita, met at Ellis Island in 1920. Six months later they were married in Chicago and settled in Michigan. They came from Turkey, Croatia, Assyria, and Yugoslavia. They were a hard-working family who became productive citizens giving back to the United States for giving them citizenship in this great country. They started a concrete company. Steve worked there several times, learning valuable lessons from his Uncle Silas (Huna). His grandfather, Samuel Dekalaita, started a cab company. His grandfather, Henry Riddle, was a merchant in Tennessee. Steve wanted this included to spark some interest in family genealogy.
Around 1960 he joined the Army and served as a radar specialist in Buffalo, N.Y. (He said Buffalo was the coldest place he had ever lived, and he was from Michigan.) After returning from the Army, he worked at the family concrete business for a while, and then became owner of his own Shell station in Jellico, Tenn. In the 1970s, he and his brother Larry moved to Charlotte, and started several car lots called Riddle Brothers Motor Co. He was one of the first used car dealers to start the “Tote the Note” system, which made business boom. He always asked for bacon on his burger, so he could have started that “Bacon Cheeseburger” menu item too, who knows? He was a trend setter, always thought outside the box, always had a solution for a problem and always spoke his mind.
After his mom died in 1976, he left Charlotte and moved to this area to get away from everything and everybody. He was devastated over his mom’s untimely death at age 52. His mom had always said in her prayers, “Lord, take me if it means my son Steve gets saved.” His mother’s favorite song was, “I’d rather have Jesus.” This is an old song; I have never heard it played before or after that Sunday until recently. One Sunday in August 1978, we decided to stop into a little Baptist Church (literally on the side of the road), went in and sat down. The service had not even started and a beautiful angelic voiced pianist began to sing “I’d rather have Jesus.” Steve got saved that day and thus began his Christian journey.” God can really coordinate things. August was a busy month, and he married his wife Kathy. They have been married for 43 years. She survives and cherishes every moment spent with this man.
Steve and Kathy always worked together. He was the owner/salesman, and she was the office manager/secretary. They worked together first at Midway Trade Lot, Midway Auto Auction, and then Riddle Real Estate. He loved cars, especially classic cars, and he loved collecting them. He finally had to be told, “You can’t own them all. We have no more space!”
From 1986 to the present, he owned and operated Riddle Real Estate as the broker in charge. He worked together with T&T Company for about 16 years, developing land and homes. He developed Wayside Estates, Forest Acres, Oak Creek, Sunflower Estates, and many other properties in the area.
Steve liked to work, but he also liked to give back to the Community. One year he was PTO president at Wayside Elementary School, and they had a school fair and netted $10,000 profit. That was a school record.
In the 1990s, he served as a chaplain at Forsyth Memorial Hospital in Winston-Salem. That is where he touched a lot of lives and a lot of lives touched him. He joined the Gideons and spoke at numerous churches on their behalf. He only gave Gideon Memorial Bibles when someone passed because “it is so important to get God’s word into people’s hands,” and he also worked with the Crisis Center of Iredell.
He joined the Wayside Fire Department and became chairman of the Board of Directors. He also served as precinct chairman for the Republican Party. He was a patriot for his country. He loved his community, his country, his conservative values, a good debate, his Bible, God, family and church. He was our patriarch. We miss him deeply and always will.
A few years ago, he took on the brave task of teaching two of his grandchildren, Elizabeth and Jonathan Math, in our homeschool. They both graduated in 2019. Both swore they would never ever use math, but Elizabeth now works at a bank, and Jonathan uses Geometric Math every day at his job.
His first and foremost work was always with the church in some capacity. He was a natural born leader. Whatever job needed to be done, he was always there to help. He was a teacher, church spokesman, R.A. leader, served on committees, etc. I could not name a job he didn’t do. He had a knowledge of the Bible that was as deep as any Bible scholar. He learned a lot through the scripture. II Timothy 2:15: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” If you understand there were different dispensations in the Bible, and God made changes in the way he dealt with people, you will understand the Bible.
He is survived by his wife Kathy; children, Crysynda Bailey (Glenn), Steve C. Riddle Jr. (Brenda), Tamara R. Seagle (Brandon), and Matthew Riddle (Lilly); grandchildren, Joshua Roberts (Sarai), Kaitlin Dean (Jason), Autumn Post (Jesse), Alexandra Phillips, Christian John Reichle, Elijah Reichle (Kara), Stone Riddle, Christian Riddle, Emma Riddle and Ella Riddle, Elizabeth Buchanan (Jared), Jonathan Manley, Ella Sophialynne Elam, James Riddle, Abigail Grace Riddle, and Elijah Riddle; and great-great-grandchildren, Dominic, Elizabeth, Esabella, Joshua Lee, Kaia, Miles, Mariah, Kayleeanna Grace, Levi, Malaki, and Brendan, and Caroline. Also surviving are three sisters, Ada Huddleston, Linda Keith and Dorothy Dyson (Wade).
Two brothers preceded him in death, Larry J. Riddle and Arthur H. Riddle.
We would like to thank all those individuals who were kind to our family and helped us during this time. Liberty Baptist Church — thank you for special prayers and kindness shown to our family. Hospice was wonderful and took care of all our needs. Thank you to our long-time doctor, RajKumar Joshi, and his staff for all the excellent care through the years. Thank you to all who prayed for us and who continue to do so.
Steve wanted to say: “Those people that were friends during my lifetime will always be friends. Those that did harm or evil to me or my family cannot undo anything now. However, it’s not too late to make amends with others.”
Steve requested no funeral services. Memorial service will be planned at a later date.
Donations may be made to, Gideon’s South Camp, P.O. Box 148, Statesville, NC 28625. You can find memorial cards at most churches, funeral homes or send a donation to the address above to get God’s word out.
Chapman Funeral Home is serving the family.