Richard was a passionate advocate for children’s literature. In 2001, upon his retirement from Lakeview Elementary School in Lethbridge, where he was a teacher-librarian, he began to promote the best of Canadian literature for young children through the Children’s Literature Roundtable, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, and the Rocky Mountain Book Awards. He hosted many outstanding Canadian authors, illustrators and storytellers in Lethbridge and often made arrangements to send them to small or remote schools and libraries that would not otherwise have had an opportunity to interact with a “real author”.
“Richard was such a wonderful, kind man. I was lucky to work together with him on Book Week for eight years,” says Shannon Howe Barnes, CCBC Program Coordinator. “When we announced that we would not be able to offer honorariums to our coordinators in 2020, Richard was one of the first to reach out and tell me he would happily continue to coordinate the tours without an honorarium; Book Week was important to him. His dedication to and passion for Canadian children’s books was so inspiring. I will miss working with him dearly.”
Richard’s obituary stated that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice or to the Rocky Mountain Book Award (RMBA), c/o Box 42 Station Main, Lethbridge, Alberta T1V 3Y4, to assist in the continued promotion of quality Canadian children’s literature, a cause to which Richard was deeply committed.