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12 Campbell Street, Castlemaine

195 High Street, Kangaroo Flat (Bendigo)

in memory of

Richard John Yates

Richard John Yates

3rd July 1965 - 12th January 2024


Born in Wyoming, USA on 3rd July 1965.

Died in Castlemaine on 12th January 2024 at the age of 58 surrounded by his adoring family. 


Enduring an epic 18 year journey of major health challenges, Richard faced life as a shining light of creativity, positivity, kindness, patience, charity and love. 

Love for his family, love for his friends and a love for God that enabled him to endure all that he faced.

Beloved husband of Karen.
Cherished father and father in law of Hayley and Josh, Zach, Matt and Cayla, David and Lauren, Andrew and Stell.

Adored Poppy of Alex, Nolan, Natalie, Ollie and arriving in February, baby Cleeland. 


He spread joy and created friendships wherever he went and unconditionally loved his family.

A humble man and a ferocious talent, a rare combination. 

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let your heart not be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27



A service to celebrate Richard’s life will be held in the Baptist Church, Edwards Street, Maldon on Wednesday

17th January commencing at 1.30pm.  Following this service the cortege will leave for the Maldon Cemetery.


If you wish to join us at the service via livestream
please return to the home page of this website and click on the livestream button.
The service will be live approximately 5 -10 minutes prior to commencing.


After the burial service you are warmly invited to return to the church hall for light refreshments.


In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in memory of Richard to

Voice of the Martyrs at


Funeral Livestream


13 responses to “Richard John Yates”

  1. Rafi Bensimone Israel says:

    Dear Karen, I’m so sorry to hear about Richard.
    He was and is a super nice, kind and a beautiful person. A master carver and I loved his work.
    He is going to be missed. My heart is broken.
    Rafi Bensimone Israel

  2. Diane Baird says:

    A beautiful man who lived life, my condolences to Karen and family.
    R.I.P. Richard, I’m sure your already carving up there 🦋💕
    Diane Baird

  3. Elaine Appleton says:

    To dear Karen and family and Richard’s family.
    What a great self-taught brilliant wood carver Richard was.
    Richard has left a great legacy in Chewton with his 5 Creat sculptures depicting Chewton’s history and people. What a great honor it was that Richard was the one chosen from many who applied to be the wood carver for the Royal Australian Navy.
    Richard had such great faith and I know that he is resting in the arms of Jesus.
    Dear Karen your faith shone out to me through your conversation when I visited you 2 days ago. Dear Karen may your faith carry you through this sad time in your life as the bible says there is a time to be sad and a time to cry Ecclesiastes 3: 4-14.
    May God bless and be with you as you continue your journey through life.
    All my love from Elaine

  4. Rachelle & Saadi says:

    Dear Karen. We knew you and Richard through Woodcraft Manningham. Our time with the two of you was inspirational. Richard was the most generous, genuine, caring, sharing man we have had the pleasure of knowing. His talented carvings will immortalise him and he will be remembered always.
    Rachelle and Saadi

  5. Steve Geddes says:

    Meeting Richard really left a mark on me and none of us will ever forget his hope and enthusiasm. YEAAAH!
    Steve Geddes


    Hayley & Zach,
    We are so sorry to hear of the loss of your father Richard 🥰♥️
    Our love , thoughts & support are with you Zach & families.
    It’s so hard when a parent grows their Angel wings and leaves you.
    You know only too well loosing your beautiful mother Helen at such a young age 🤩♥️
    I know you will have the support of family & friends around you & looking forward to the birth of your first child Haley & Josh .
    A niece or nephew for you Zach.
    So draw on all the wonderful memories and lean on your loved ones but know we are here if you need anything 🥰
    Love from Bruce, Trina, Chelsea, Jodie, Breeana, Jarrod, Chase, Rhyder & Connor. xxx

  7. Keith & Joy White says:

    Karen and family.
    Our thoughts are with you in your sad loss of Richard.
    It was a privilege for us when Richard offered to carve a sculpture of Keith’s mother, Frances White, which is on display in Main Road Chewton.
    His work was beautifully done and the afternoon tea at your home was greatly appreciated by our family and friends.
    Richard was always so pleasant and will be sadly missed by everyone he met.
    Keith & Joy White

  8. Thanh Duong says:

    Karen and family,
    I am a member from Woodcraft Manningham. Richard has showed many carving members how to Power carving landscape on the weekend Bacchus Marsh May 2018 and May 2019.
    We were so privileged to have know him and were so inspired with Richard’s techniques and teaching. What an honor to have attended two of his carving workshops.
    He was so talented, friendly and always smiles. He will be greatly missed.
    Our sincere condolences to Karen and the family.
    Thanh and Woodcraft Manningham.

  9. Stefan Nechwatal says:

    I have just a few moments ago read in the Midland Express of Richard’s sudden passing.
    As an artist I greatly admired Richard’s sculptural works and his energy and drive and passion inspired me.
    I really don’t know what to say apart from that well worn insight, only the best die young.
    I am sure the motoring enthusiasts of the Shire will have a special place in their hearts for Richard and his support of their endeavors.
    Stefan Nechwatal

  10. Henrik Sigensgaard (woodpek) says:

    I met Richard in China in 2014, and I remember a wonderful, warm and smiling person, and a positive woodcarver.
    I will carry him in my heart for ever.
    Henrik Sigensgaard (woodpek)

  11. Carol & Rod Hadfield says:

    Our sincere sympathy to Karen and all their family on the passing of Richard, he was such a talented man with a huge positive personality.
    We were honored when he offered to carve the sculpture of Rod at our property, his legacy will live on with all his creative skills.
    Rest in Peace Richard.
    Carol & Rod Hadfield

  12. Wayne and Karlene Wirrenga says:

    Words cannot express the love we have for Richard. He was not just a friend – he was family. From the day we met him so many years ago in Wyoming, he has been a special part of our lives. An ocean did not change that, if anything, it strengthened it. We cherished the few times we were able to spend together since he moved. Wayne and Richard talked regularly and when they did, it was about meaningful things and when they ended their calls it was with “I love you” – for that Wayne is thankful. We are so grateful that God blessed us both with Richard’s friendship. We will miss his infectious laugh and cheerful voice, but we look forward to meeting up with Richard someday in Heaven.
    God bless you, Karen, Hayley, and Zach. We love you very much and are just a phone call away.
    Wayne and Karlene Wirrenga

  13. Tim & Bonnie Rostad says:

    It was with tears of sadness and joy that I heard that Richard went to be with Jesus. So many memories go through my mind. What great times and adventures. Many conversations. I so loved hearing about his walk with Christ and his time on the street sharing Christ. What an example to all. A very special friend to all.

Funeral Details

Maldon Baptist Church
Cnr Templeton and Edwards Streets

17th January 2024 at 1:30 PM

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