Our Brother Richard

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Georges Michelson-Dupont

By Georges Michelson-Dupont, trustee, Recloses, France

Editor’s Note: The following is a personal reminiscence about the author’s friend and fellow trustee, Richard Keeler, who graduated to the mansion worlds in January. A biography published on the occasion of his retirement as a trustee can be found here, and the announcement of his passing can be found here

Richard Keeler—my brother, my friend—graduated to the mansion worlds serene and at peace after having lived his sonship on Urantia in full consciousness of our Universal Father. He had a sincere desire to live the teachings of the revelation to which he devoted his life. In addition, he fulfilled his responsibilities as a trustee of Urantia Foundation, a position he accepted more than 30 years ago when heavy clouds of conflict were piling up on our Urantian community.

His exemplary strength of character and determination were matched only by his kindness and loyalty. He was a comrade on whom one could count, always in a good mood and ready to listen to you if you were having difficulties. What inspired me most was the sympathy and affection that emanated from him.

The people around him were attracted by his kindness, his sense of humor, his banjo music, and his natural charm. I remember once in 1997, while we were waiting with my wife Marlène in the main hall of the Mexico City airport, Richard threw his hat up, catching it on his head, while playing the banjo. A crowd of children gathered around him and began to dance in front of the amused parents. Those who knew him can imagine him singing "Alouette, gentille alouette…" while playing the banjo!

I met Richard for the first time in August 1988 during the chartering of the Urantia Association of Finland, and then at the castle of Montvillargenne where the CERDH (the first French association for readers) organized an international conference in 1989. Having just arrived from Sydney, Australia, he was so tired from his journey that he fell asleep in the elevator of our company’s offices. You can easily imagine the astonishment of my wife and coworkers when we discovered him asleep on an old mattress that happened to be there!

In those days he and I met very often, discussing matters of mutual concern with my father, Jacques Dupont and Marlène. On several occasions Seppo Kanerva from Finland, Philip Rolnick, and Martin Myers accompanied him. During these visits, we talked about the situation of the Foundation and the future of the French translation, which was being revised.

When he was staying with us in Blennes, he was particularly attentive to my mother-in-law, whom he affectionately called Mémé, and I know that she was very appreciative of his attention and loved him very much.

When I became Trustee in October 1995, I know he strongly supported my appointment. Those times were a heroic epoch during which a great effort was conducted to produce translations. Seppo, Richard, and I formatted the different translations in Blennes with great joy and feelings of satisfaction, working for the expansion of the revelation through the translations that we were preparing. At that time, file-to-print technology did not exist yet. I had purchased a complete set of equipment that enabled us to create films and prepare proofs for the printer. We also formatted the small vinyl cover book which made the The Urantia Book very affordable.

There were two special events in our friendship. The first was a 23-day trip to South America in 1997 with my wife and Bob Solone, during which we were able to meet readers from more than seven Spanish-speaking countries and Brazil. We shared so many adventures together during this journey that it would be impossible to relate them all. We were in Colombia and were driving back from a dinner given by readers in a small town about 150 km (95 miles) from Bogotá. Crossing a dense forest, we came face-to-face with armed men who stopped us and forced us out of the car. They asked us for our papers. Richard handed over his passport, and realizing he was a "gringo," the soldier asked him to put his hands on the hood of the car and began to search him. Richard had fun saying "do not" and then "stop" then continuing to say "do not stop," as if he enjoyed it. The soldier got angry and went to his superior, who saw the scene and understood that Richard was joking. Finally, they let us go with some jokes. Afterwards, our guide explained to Richard that we were very lucky—the forest was full of FARC guerrillas.

The second event was his heart surgery in 2000 at the Georges-Pompidou Hospital in Paris, performed by Dr. Alain Frédéric Carpentier, known worldwide for his valve operations. The evening before his surgery, I was with him in the hospital room; he was a bit tense and anxious. I joked to relax the atmosphere by telling him that he was living a win-win situation, in that if he woke up after his operation he would find himself on this side of the bridge, and in the opposite case he would wake up on the other side, alive forever. I visited him every day at the hospital and later, my mother-in-law cared for him with tenderness during his convalescence in Blennes.

My unfailing friendship for him was mutual: I loved him for himself, and he loved me for myself. These things are inexpressible in words because they are relationships of personalities, and I treasured the chance to have experienced them here on Urantia.

I know I'll meet him again soon.

Richard Keeler, Georges Michelson-Dupont
Richard Keeler, Georges Michelson-Dupont
Georges Michelson-Dupont, Richard Keeler
Georges Michelson-Dupont, Richard Keeler
Georges Michelson-Dupont, Richard Keeler
Georges Michelson-Dupont, Richard Keeler

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