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Richard "Richie" Spier is Mary Anne Spier's father, the husband of Sharon Schafer-Spier, and the stepfather of Dawn Schafer and Jeff Schafer.

Physical Appearance

Richard is 42 years old and wears glasses and later gets contacts in Dawn and the Impossible Three. Covers and illustrations in later books depict him with glasses exclusively, though.

Biography

Mary Anne describes him as very strict, but warm and caring. He hates asking for favors and not a sports fan. He's totally non-athletic (even though he tries with Jeff in Dawn's Family Feud, and participates in Run for Your Money with his family in Dawn's Big Move) and can't stand being interrupted. He feels a little uncomfortable around kids (which Mary Anne thinks is due to her having been his only child prior to marrying Sharon). He uses words like "spiffy." He's a mashed potato and meat loaf kind of guy.

Richard is very neat and organized. He sorts his clothes by color and alphabetizes the Schafer-Spiers' books and other things (even cereal boxes and spices). When something is out of order (even something as simple as one pair of socks being switched with another pair), he gets very upset.

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 Baker, and they had their only child, Mary Anne.

Alma Spier died of cancer soon after that and Richard was heartbroken. Mary Anne went briefly went to live on her maternal grandparents' farm in Iowa while Richard dealt with his grief. He returned for her within a year (after a brief custody battle with his in-laws), 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 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 was still using 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 loans an old Brownie camera to the BSC in Claudia and the Clue in the Photograph, so they could make a photo album to send to Dawn.

Job

Richard is a lawyer and was originally with a law firm called Thompson, Thompson, and Abrams. Four years prior to the events of the main series, he established his own law firm in Stamford. This firm eventually merged with another firm which means he has to travel more. The merged firm is known as Harte, Mudge, and Whitman. Mary Anne mentions that Richard likes to call it Hot Fudge and Whipped Cream.

Likes

  • 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
  • Chicago and the impressionist collection at the art institute (BSC in the USA)

Dislikes

Trivia

  • He likes Logan Bruno
  • Mentions of Alma make him sad.
  • He gives Mary Anne a pearl necklace that belonged to her mother on his and Sharon's wedding day.
  • Grew up on Taylor Street and lived there until several months before Mary Anne was born, when he and Alma moved to Bradford Court.
  • 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 says she's never heard ANYONE call her father that before. It's possible that it's just a private nickname that Sharon has for him.
  • 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 had both died by the time she was in the first grade.
  • He makes great waffles as mentioned in The Fire at Mary Anne's House.
  • He never liked Cindy Sherwood back in high school as 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!, which he loans to his daughter so she can buy a new outfit for the dance. He loans it to her again to purchase Christmas gifts in The Secret Life of Mary Anne Spier (though this time Mary Anne has to pay him back).
  • He still has all his old records, high school and college yearbooks in Mary Anne Saves the Day. He kept Alma's yearbooks as well.
  • Richard drives a red chevy cavalier according to Dawn in Dawn and the Halloween Mystery.
  • Dawn calls him Richard.
  • Richard checked up on Mary Anne sitting for the Pikes in Snowbound.
  • Is the world's lightest sleeper according to Mary Anne in Mary Anne's Bad-Luck Mystery.
  • He always reads the same sections of the newspaper in the same order: business news, international news, national news, local news.
  • He drinks exactly one and a half cups of coffee every morning.
  • He often speaks in legal terms.
  • He sometimes gets shy when Sharon gets overly romantic with him in front of the girls and Jeff.
  • After Dawn moves back to California, he cooks most of the meals in the Schafer-Spier house. Mary Anne notes that he tries to be fair to Sharon by incoporating vegetarian items like tofu into his recipes.

Gallery

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