Richard Keith Williams, who came to be known as Dick to his many friends, was born on 28 April 1962 in New Norfolk, Tasmania.
His parents were Ron and Betty Williams, and he was the youngest of four children – sisters Kaye and Cheryl and brother Ron (nicknamed ‘Boy’ to differentiate him from his father).
In the early days, the family moved around Tasmania as Ron’s work was on farms and orchards. They would move to where the work was, including Kempton, Lucaston, York Plains and St Marys to name a few.
In 1973, the family moved to Victoria and rented a house in Aspendale. Dick started high school at Mordialloc Secondary College, where he made life-long, strong friendships, and met his future wife, Resa.
These were the years when many of his most enduring friendships were formed. There was Mark, Robert Park (from Parkers Road, Parkdale!), Fred, David, Brett, Darren, Pete, Neil and others from Mordi high, along with ‘the girls’ – Resa, Mandy, Linda, Helen, Janet, and Robyn, to name a few. This group of friends was very close during the time at High School and grew closer as time went on.
It was also during this time that Dick started playing cricket at the Mordialloc Cricket Club, and the group of friends there (which also crossed over with some of his Mordi High mates) were referred to by some as ‘the Bodgies’. He played in the Under 16’s, with Dick batting at around 9.
As Dick grew older, he got his license and started going out on the weekends to pubs, seeing bands and having a drink. Some of the girls had other boyfriends outside the group, but Dick had his eye on one particular girl – Resa.
Dick and Resa started going out and their relationship grew. All their friends knew that they were perfect for each other.
And, sure enough, Dick and Resa got married on 2 May 1987.
A short time after they were married things took a very serious turn. Resa was rushed to hospital with a burst aneurysm – an illness that Resa never really recovered from. After months in hospital and treatment, Resa was allowed home. At this time, the doctors advised that Resa couldn’t get pregnant due to the medication she was on.
It was therefore quite a welcome surprise when Richard and Resa announced that Resa was pregnant.
Ben was born on 6 August 1988, with his arrival bringing the energy that they both needed – the addition that made them a family, the joy of a first child. Ben was a miracle of sorts conceived outside doctors’ understanding and knowledge.
Dick’s reaction to Resa’s illness was that he was going to fix it. With help from family and friends, he managed the treatment to help Resa walk and be independent. His tenaciousness and persistence paid off somewhat and Resa did eventually walk again, and everyone thought she was on the mend. But tragically, Resa’s condition deteriorated and she was eventually diagnosed with MS. On 2 February 2006, Resa passed away.
Dick had a couple of jobs after leaving school but, according to friends, his love of motorcycles drew him to the post office. He started at Australia Post in 1984, and like everything he did, he made the most of it. Dick was a very gregarious individual, and really loved to see and meet people, and was always ready to have a chat – so doing postie rounds was perfect for him. He took his job very seriously, and was known to deliver directly to the door of some of his customers when it was raining so they didn’t have to get wet.
During his early days with the post office, he took on second jobs to help pay the mortgage and provide for his family, including security work filling up ATMs with cash (which involved carrying a gun!), and the night shift at the Hubbub in Mentone on reception and doing security. He did all this while looking after his family and making sure he saw his friends.
It was at the post office that his second love grew! Dick met Lindy at Hampton Post Office 1997, but it was at another postie mate’s house that Dick made his move. And so began their relationship. Dick often remarked that all he wanted to do was to grow old with Lindy. His love for Lindy was only matched by hers for him. Once again, he had found his soul mate.
Lindy and Dick holidayed in Port Douglas annually which Dick really loved. It was on their May 2018 trip that Dick started coughing severely and feeling dizzy. On his return, Dick was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
At the time, everyone knew that, being cancer, it was serious, but everybody thought, “this is Dicky, he’ll beat this, he’ll be okay”.
He went through tests, treatments and many trips to hospital, but despite all the interventions, he finally lost the battle on 18 January 2020 at 12.02am – the very same time to the minute that his dad had passed away from the same disease.
The love, support and care that Lindy, Betty and Ben showed through this ordeal was remarkable. The devotion and love they showed Dick was immeasurable. Betty, now living back in Tasmania, took 17 trips across Bass Strait in 15 months to help care for Dick.
After Dick died, Lindy received a note from his doctor to say that both her and Betty’s care during his illness was something he had never seen before. This not only demonstrates their love and commitment to Dick but speaks volumes for the type of person Dick was.
It’s not enough to say Dick will be missed. It’s not enough to say he is still loved. None of those things adequately describe the person he was. Words cannot describe him, but we all know who he was and he will remain in our thoughts forever.
Dick’s life wasn’t without it challenges and heartbreak but what he is remembered for is his passion for life, his friendships and his love and devotion for his family.
We hope that the Richard Williams Scholarship Fund will go some way towards keeping Dick’s memory alive, and that he would be proud to know that he continues to make a difference to people’s lives.