Irv Bieser, champion for Dayton’s arts, non-profits dies at 78

A friend to many and a beloved name throughout the Dayton community has passed away.

Irvin Bieser Jr., known as Irv to most people, died on Thursday at age 78.

Beiser practiced law in Dayton for more than 50 years beginning his career with his father’s law firm in 1966 after graduating from Harvard Law School. He was a senior partner at Bieser Greer & Landis LLP and was influential in numerous corners of the philanthropic community, where his impact will be felt for many years to come.

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David Williamson, his law partner and good friend still practicing at the firm, said Bieser believed in paying forward.

“He was so community minded that he understood the importance of planting seeds that would sprout years later,” Williamson said. “In that vain, I mean that’s metaphorically speaking, that the seeds are getting other people to be community minded. And that’s what builds a community.

Bieser’s community involvement included serving as a member of the Peace Corps., a long time trustee and president of Five Rivers MetroParks, chair of The Nature Conservancy of Ohio, former chair of the City of Dayton Public Arts Commission, and trustee of the Dayton Art Institute and the Dayton Philharmonic.

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“That’s how I think he perceived his role, as one of those people that keeps the wheels turning and the fires burning in our community,” Williamson said.

Bieser also dedicated time to conservation work.

“Irv Bieser’s passing leaves a big hole in the heart of all who care about the Little Miami and conservation throughout the Miami Valley Region and the State of Ohio,” read a Facebook post by the Little Miami Conservancy. “Many miles of vital riverfront forests were protected by Irv through LMC nature preserve acquisitions. We will miss his leadership and his warm smile.”

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During Bieser’s world travels, many with his wife Tracy, Williamson said Irv made certain to include acts of service in whatever local community he was a tourist in. He was also a prolific collector of local art.

Some pieces collected during his travels are displayed in the Dayton Art Institute and Dayton Peace Museum.

“We are deeply saddened to share that longtime friend and patron of the DAI, Irv Bieser, has passed away,” read a Facebook post by DAI. “The Bieser family has been involved with the museum for nearly 70 years. … (Irv) will be greatly missed for his intellect, quick wit and kind nature. Our thoughts are with his family.”

Funeral arrangements were unavailable late Saturday.

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