Richard Keij Magarifuji was born in May 1918, in Kailua, Maui to Keitaro and Kinu, immigrants from Yamaguchi, Japan. The family moved to Paia where his father was an engineer who worked with dynamite to dig water wells for the sugar plantation. He was the third child and oldest son out of seven children. He attended Paia School, Maui High School, and Coyne Electrical School in Chicago, Illinois. He worked as an electrician for Maui Electric Company before entering the service.
Inducted into the U.S. Armed Forces on June 6, 1941, Magarifuji was initially assigned to the 299th National Guard and later served in C Company of the 100th Infantry Battalion. An original member of the 100th, he trained with the battalion in Hawaii, Camp McCoy, Wisconsin and Camp Shelby, Mississippi.
Private First Class Richard Keiji Magarifuji was killed in action on June 2, 1944 near Lanuvio and Netunno, Italy, during the Anzio to Rome Campaign. He is buried at the Makawao Veterans Cemetery.
Magarifuji was awarded the Purple Heart medal, Combat Infantryman badge, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign medal, the American and European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medals, and the World War II Victory medal and ribbon.