Ferrucio Bier, R.I.P.

Although most of you probably didn’t know Ferrucio, he’s been one of my heroes.

If you’ve been in Dayton, you’ve probably walked on his handiwork at some time. He was a floor guy- marble, tile and the dying trade of terrazzo floors. He helped lay the floor at the Sears downtown, as well as countless others. I’m not sure right now if he was born in Italy or here – but, he was the case study example of the American Dream. Work hard, do the right thing, and raise your kids right.

He also was a community activist, fighting a huge housing development near his home. Not too long ago we took a spin around the roads to nowhere that were built in the midst of the housing boom. We’d have been better off without that sprawl.

I met him through his kids; Angie, Gina, Christine and Dominic. If it had not been for Dominic, I’d say he treated me like the son he never had. We used to go to lunch and talk about trying to solve Dayton’s problems. He was a pragmatist, I always liked how he could simplify the big things into simple answers.

As amazing as he was with his hands, he used to have a constant battle with his computer. The family joke was if I was about to get a free dinner every time he’d be having computer problems- as that was the trade for the service call.

If you’ve been in my house, the light over the kitchen sink- which came from a hotel that was being demolished in Cincinnati, was rescued from his warehouse on Brandt Pike. When I’d finished reworking it- and he saw it for the first time, with neon and halogen lights- he cursed himself for selling it to me, but quickly said- he’d never have thought to modify it like I had.

He’s been retired from the floor business for some time. His “new job” was watching his grandkids 3 days a week. He took it very seriously. It kept him busy enough that he didn’t have as much time to screw up the computer, which cut down on my gnocchi dinners at his house.

He had a very fast onset of lung cancer, probably caused by his exposure to asbestos over the years in the trades. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t how he wanted to go- sedated, on a ventilator, after getting pneumonia after doctors had removed a lung, but, then again, how do any of us want to go?

He’ll be missed, as will the gnocchi.

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6 Responses

  1. David Esrati February 4, 2009 / 10:13 am

    Services will be held Sat Feb 7, 2009 at 10am, Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church. 22 Notre Dame Ave Dayton, OH 45404 (937) 228-8802
    http://olrdayton.com/

    Viewing is Friday night at Morton & Whetstone Funeral Home, 5-8 pm
    http://www.mortonwhetstonefh.com/index.cfm
    139 S. Dixie Dr. Vandalia, Ohio 45377 Phone: 937-898-4634

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  2. Virginia sharpe March 16, 2010 / 10:14 am
    Ferrucio and I won a jitterbug contest At the YWCA dance which we went to every week end. I loved him and wanted to see him one more time. I miss our dances and him so much. I hope he knew I loved him. Virginia Kiger Marlow Sharpe

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  3. David Esrati March 16, 2010 / 10:57 am

    Hi Virginia-

    Ferrucio knew who loved him- and he also let people know when he didn’t love you :-) but- those were few and far between.

    I was honored to be one of his pall bearers.

    He’s still deeply missed.

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  4. Brian Walusis October 17, 2011 / 10:43 pm
    I was one of Ferrucio’s former tenants at 345 Five Oaks which no longer stands. Ferrucio was a good and fair man and he cared about the neighborhood. He always said, “If more people would stand up against the bad guy, pretty soon he wouldn’t have anywhere to hide”. RIP Ferrucio.

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