On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in King Township, while driving his 1947 Willy's Jeep, Royden Richardson's life was suddenly taken in a tragic single-vehicle accident.
Royden will be lovingly remembered by his wife Beverley; sons Ronald, Bryden and Quinn; mother Shirley; siblings Jim (Leney), Carolyn (Larry Hursh), Serena (Kurt Weinheimer) and Sara (Graeme Thomson); sister-in-law Joan Richardson; his 13 nieces and nephews James, Raif, Cassidy, Sprague and Colton Richardson; Brenden, Danny and Hilary Hursh; Cyrus Weinheimer; and Laurel, Talia, John Gray and Charlotte Thomson; mother- and father-in-law Audrey and Alan Taylor; brothers- and sisters-in-law Linda (Bill Parker), Barbara Taylor (Jim Goatcher) and Perry Taylor (Carol); cousins David (Pamela), Hartley (Heather), Karen, Jamie Benidickson, Kris Benidickson (Shirley), and Kathleen (Alex Ramsay); as well as his extended family and close friends. Royden was predeceased by his father, the Honorable James A. Richardson and brother-in-law Ronald Taylor.
Born in Winnipeg, Royden attended St. John's Ravenscourt School, the University of Winnipeg Collegiate and studied at the University of Manitoba where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Economics in 1976.
Royden began his 36-year career in financial services and investment management as a Financial Analyst with Richardson Securities of Canada. In 1982 Royden became a member of the Operating Committee of Richardson Greenshields of Canada Limited, and by 1986 held the position of Vice President and Director of Marketing. Dedicated to the growth of the firm, Royden relocated to Toronto in 1987 with his family to assume a senior role in the Investment Banking division. In 1995 Royden became Vice Chairman of Richardson Greenshields and played a strategic role through the acquisition of Richardson Greenshields by the Royal Bank of Canada in 1996.
Following the sale of Richardson Greenshields, Royden registered as a Senior Counseling Officer and Portfolio Manager with both the Ontario and Manitoba Securities Commissions. In 2003 he joined FairLane Asset Management Limited as Managing Director; and the Board of Directors of the newly formed Richardson Partners Financial Limited. In addition to his formal responsibilities during RPFL's merger with GMP Investment Management to form Richardson GMP in 2012, Royden was personally remembered for his leadership in introducing and representing the Richardson Family and ensuring the two businesses came together harmoniously. Since this merger, Royden has held the title of Vice Chairman of GMP Investment Management.
Royden's extensive contributions to James Richardson & Sons Limited throughout his career include various advisory, committee, investment management and shareholder roles including serving as a Director of JRSL from 2005 to 2010 and Chairing the JRSL Pension Fund.
Royden served as a director of Van-Rob Inc., Magna International Ltd. (1990-2009), Primaxis Technology Ventures Inc. and served as Chairman of Gateway Telecom Canada Inc. He also served on the Advisory Boards of KingSett Capital Inc. and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. His not-for-profit work included being a Governor of Junior Achievement of Canada, Chair of the Growth of Excellence Campaign for the Country Day School and most recently he became a Member of the Investment Committee of the David Suzuki Foundation.
Royden loved spending summers at the family cottage where social life centered around the Royal Lake of the Woods Yacht Club. He raced Lightnings and the JA-RO-CA-SE, a 32-foot scow, with his father and brother, and always enjoyed their longstanding sailing rivalries with other lake families.
When Royden's father became a Member of Parliament, he and his brother Jim became private floatplane pilots so that they could expedite his father's commute from Ottawa and get to the lake faster to enjoy early morning paddles, sunset rides in the "Coronado", oversized bonfires and time with friends. His love of flying continued throughout his life.
Another passion Royden and his brother Jim shared was their love of hunting on the Delta Marsh and together they designed and built Tundra Lodge in 1977. Located near Portage la Prairie, the lodge is a log cabin that has been home base for countless duck hunting excursions. Here he taught each of his three boys to hunt and they often enjoyed watching the sun rise and set over the marsh.
In 1979, Royden met Beverley Taylor and they married on May 3, 1981. Two sons, Royden Ronald, and Bryden Rooper were born in Winnipeg, and a third, Quinn Anthony, when the family moved to Toronto in 1987.
Throughout his life Royden had workshops. When he was 15 he spent two years rebuilding a 1947 Willy's Jeep. Later in Toronto, the family car sat outside so he and the boys could build birdhouses, play structures and toy guns in the garage. Workshops were where he spent time conceptualizing, designing, building, modifying and fixing. Here he taught his boys, "Anything worth doing is worth doing well."
In 1991 Royden acquired lake property north of Kingston and the young family's early summers were spent roughing it in tents. Instead of building a cottage, Royden used his ingenuity to develop what he liked to call 'luxury camping.' Wood fires heated a hot tub, solar panels and batteries powered lights, and gravity provided in-line hot running water.
During the last three years he has been dedicated to building his dream cottage on an island at Lake of the Woods. He had perfection in mind and no detail was too small to command his full attention. His design for the structures and how they fit flawlessly within the island are a testament to his capabilities, dedication and desire to build a sanctuary for his family.
Royden enjoyed golf, tennis, and squash. He participated in cycling vacations with Bev and several Grand Fondo charity rides. Royden's favourite sport was skiing. His 'knees- together' style was graceful and poetic. Although he skied nearly all resorts in Europe after University, Royden was always keen to have his next ski trip planned whether with family or his life-long friends.
Royden believed in travelling somewhere new on every journey. Canoe trips on the Nahanni and Coppermine rivers kick-started his lifelong passion for Canada's North. His travel was always energetic, self-organized and his adventures took him, Beverley and his boys to the far corners of the earth, including recently, Dubai, Ellesmere Island and the Himalayas in Bhutan.
Family was always at the top of Royden's list. Despite his own advice of "live where you work," in 1996 he moved his family an hour away from his Toronto office to embrace Bev's love for the country and horses. His three sons were his proudest achievement. A natural teacher, he spent countless hours passing on his entirety of skills, knowledge and life lessons. Royden would always provide the necessary guidance yet had a special way of being encouraging and supportive as they made their own choices. His legacy will live on in each of them and they will keep his traditions, passions and dreams alive.
If desired and in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Junior Achievement of Canada at www.jacan.org/donate or 1 Eva Road, Suite 218, Toronto M9C 4Z5. The family would appreciate any photos, fond thoughts and memories sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A funeral service will be held in Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, 230 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto on Friday, May 10, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. with a reception to follow. A parking dispensation has been issued.
Published in National Post from May 7 to May 10, 2013