Richard was born on 15 February 1953 in Wa, North West Ghana to the late Godfred Kofi Dampare Smart and the late Comfort Afumaa Smart, of the Aduana and Bretuo families of Akyem, Begoro.
Richard had his primary and secondary schooling in Ghana before applying to pursue his engineering studies in Canada. Richard grew up in a large, loving family of many siblings (Agnes, Esi, Mary, Theresa, Yaa, Francis, George, Henry and William) where the laughter of energetic and spirited boys and girls rang through long corridors. Their parents had the difficult task of ensuring this “oversized” household functioned as it should, and did so with encouragement and loving caution in equal measure. As the eldest son of a former military man, Richard shared in many of these responsibilities from an early age and was entrusted with driving his Dad's cars on the many errands he ran for the family. He set a good example for his junior brothers – and loved it!.
Richard was a qualified Chartered Engineer and worked for a number of years in the oil and petroleum industry. In December 1982, he married Miss Victoria Neequaye, daughter of Gilbert Neequaye Kotey and Matilda Asanoa Kudjoe. Richard and Victoria's marriage was blessed with 5 children: Jacqueline, Jason, Richard Jr., Michael and Priscilla-Louise. Generous with his time and knowledge, he cut a fatherly figure whom many were drawn to for advice and guidance.
Although a very private man, Richard often opened his home and was ever ready to give up his time to family, friends and civic duties alike. He served as a school governor at the Grove Nursery School, Peckham for many years. His passion for life also found expression in his love for his work, movies, music, sports, and cars.
Family and faith were of great importance to Richard. He was a devout Christian with deep, abiding faith in God. He prioritised church attendance, strived to live his life according to the teachings of Christ, and to pass this onto his children. Even in illness he approached life with unwavering faith. On the 27th June 2020, it pleased the Lord to call Richard home to be with Him in heaven. He is survived by his wife Victoria, 5 children and 5 grandchildren, in whom his legacy lives on.