Richard is forty-two-years old and wears glasses and later gets contacts in Dawn and the Impossible Three.
Mary Anne describes him as very strict, but warm and caring. He hates asking for favors and not a sports fan. He's totally nonathletic (even though he tries with Jeff in Dawn's Family Feud) and can't stand being interrupted. He feels a little uncomfortable around kids. He uses words like "spiffy." He's a mashed potato and meat loaf kind of guy.
In Mary Anne and the Little Princess, Richard mentions that he had a dog named Duke growing up. His dad was a mailman.
Richard was born in Stoneybrook, Connecticut and came from a poor family. He met Sharon Porter in high school when they were at Stoneybrook High School. They started dating and dated for a long time. They were in love, but Sharon's parents and family (Dawn's Granny and Pop-Pop) were wealthy and didn't approve of their relationship or Richard because he was poor and they thought he wouldn't be successful. They sent Sharon off to College in California but Richard stayed in Stoneybrook. They lost touch and soon, Mary Anne's father married another woman, Alma, and they had their only child, Mary Anne.
Alma Spier died soon after that and Mr. Spier was heartbroken. Mary Anne, then a toddler, briefly went to live on her maternal grandparents' farm in Iowa while Richard dealt with his grief. He returned for her within a year, vowing never to lose her again. He knew that Mary Anne would grow up without a mother and became very strict, thinking that he needed to raise Mary Anne 'right' and make her a prim and proper lady.
Meanwhile, Sharon Porter met and married Mr. Schafer and she became Sharon Schafer. They had two kids, Dawn and Jeff. Dawn is the oldest and Mary Anne's age. When Dawn and Mary Anne were both twelve, Dawn's parents divorced. Sharon decided to move back to Stoneybrook, where she grew up, and where her parents (Dawn's grandparents) still lived. She brought her kids, Dawn and Jeff, with her while Mr. Schafer stayed in California.
Dawn was attending school at Stoneybrook Middle School (SMS) where Mary Anne was. They met in the cafeteria at school on Dawn's second day of school. They became friends. Dawn and Mary Anne were at Dawn's house one day when they discovered that their parents had attended school together and dated, as there was an old rose pinned in a yearbook from prom that Richard gave Sharon.
Mary Anne and Dawn's came up with an idea to re-spark the romance between their parents. They got their parents to meet again and even though they hadn't seen each other since high school, sparks flew. That was in Book #4 Mary Anne Saves The Day. But in Book #30 Mary Anne and the Great Romance, their parents get married! Now, Mary Anne has Dawn's brother Jeff as a younger stepbrother and Dawn as her stepsister.
In The Fire at Mary Anne's House Richard says that he uses the pencil cup Mary Anne gave him in kindergarten. Richard was having a hard time believing that the house was gone, but able to hold it together in front of Mary Anne.
In Mary Anne's Revenge, Richard hasn't been able to sleep since the fire. He constantly checking on Mary Anne, making sure the oven is turned off, things are unplugged, and and the fire alarm works. In the end he, Sharon, and Mary Anne sit down and talk about their feelings.
Richard has his own law firm in Stamford that started four years prior. The law firm merged with another firm which means he'll have to travel more. He used to work at Thompson, Thompson, and Abrams. The new job is called Harte, Mudge, and Whitman.
- Jazz music
- Driving to Stamford and visiting museums, play matinees, and going out for fancy meals
- Has always loved Boston for its chowder and historic sites
- Classical music on the EZ Lite Listening station
- When people use words like yeah, shut up, hey, and gross.
- He likes Logan Bruno
- Mentions of Alma makes him sad.
- He gives Mary Anne a pearl necklace that belong to her mother.
- Used to live on Taylor Street, but moved several months before Mary Anne was born.
- He traveled to Cincinnati for two weeks in Mary Anne and Camp BSC.
- Richard was called Richie by Sharon several times, so it's assumed that that's his nickname, although Mary Anne'd never heard ANYONE call her father that before.
- He says grace before dinner in Mary Anne Saves the Day.
- In Stacey McGill... Matchmaker? Mary Anne mentions that he used to date when she was young, before he met Sharon again.
- His favorite tie is the maroon paisley one.
- In Mary Anne Saves the Day, Mary Anne notes that his parents died around the time she was in the first grade.
- He makes great waffles mentioned in The Fire at Mary Anne's House.
- He never liked Cindy Sherwood back in high school mentioned in Dawn and the School Spirit War.
- Mary Anne mentions that he still talks to the people he went to elementary school with and one person from pre-school in Graduation Day.
- He has a Bellair's charge card in Logan Likes Mary Anne!.
- He still has all his old records, high school and college yearbooks in Mary Anne Saves the Day.
- Richard drives a red chevy cavalier according to Dawn in Dawn and the Halloween Mystery.
- Dawn calls him Richard.
- Richard checked up Mary Anne sitting for the Pikes in Snowbound.