Richard "Richie" Spier is Mary Anne Spier's father. He is married to Dawn Schafer's mother, Sharon Schafer-Spier (nee Porter). He was born in Stoneybrook, Connecticut and came from a poor family. Richard met Sharon 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 rich/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 first and only child, little Mary Anne Spier. 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 Mr. Spier 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. He was worried because Mary Anne didn't have any siblings and she was all he'd got if he was sick. And if she died, who would he have left? Nobody.
Meanwhile, Sharon Porter met and married Mr. Schafer and she became Sharon Schafer. They had two kids, Dawn and Jeff. Dawn was oldest and Mary Anne's age. When Dawn and Mary Anne were both 12, 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.
A lightbulb went off in their heads. They got them to meet again and successful lawyer Richard was very surprised to lay eyes on the woman he hadn't seen since high school and 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 (and Best Friend!)
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.
Richard seems to be a successful lawyer, obviously proving that Sharon's parents were wrong about him.
Even after Sharon came back to Stoneybrook and started dating Richard again years later, Granny and Pop-Pop still have a strained relationship with Richard.