District mourns Centerville school treasurer: ‘He was a shining light in our community’

The community and school district are reeling after the untimely death of Centerville schools Treasurer Mitch Biederman. He died Monday morning after suffering serious injuries in a bicycle accident earlier this month.

MORE: Centerville schools treasurer dies after bicycle accident

Biederman’s cause of death is blunt force trauma to the head, resulting from a bicycle accident that occurred in Washington Twp. on Sept. 14, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s office. He was transported to the hospital immediately after the accident, and remained there until his death, officials said.

“He passed away in the ICU in-patient at the Kettering Medical Center and died on Sept. 23,” the report shared with this news organization states. Biederman leaves behind his wife, Lisa, and three children.

Officer John Davis, Centerville police spokesman, confirmed details of the incident.

“There was a 911 call at 10:50 p.m.,” Davis said. “There were people riding with him and reported the accident, which was on Virginia Avenue, near Stubbs Park.”

The incident is still under investigation, but a preliminary report indicates that it was an unfortunate accident, Davis said.

A memorial fund has been set-up to help the family in the form of a GoFundMe page, which has raised $10,000 so far. The fundraising effort states that, "even in his death he (Biederman) was able to save many lives through organ donation. His family was his everything, and he couldn't be prouder of his kids."

The Centerville school board voted unanimously at its Monday night meeting to appoint an interim treasurer, Laura Sauber, who has 19 years of experience as a public school treasurer.

She served seven of those years as the Chief Financial Officer of Sylvania City Schools, a suburban district in Northwest Ohio, and is similar in size to Centerville. Sauber will provide treasurer services through the Shared Resource Center.

Superintendent Tom Henderson asked those in attendance at the emotionally charged board meeting, which saw members choking back tears, to observe a moment of silence to honor their distinguished colleague.

“It has been a hard day for Centerville City Schools. I had the hard task of sharing some information with all of our district staff today,” he said. “Unfortunately our treasurer Mr. Biederman passed away this morning due to complications from a bicycle accident he had a couple weeks ago.”

Henderson said he worked with Biederman in the school district for more than a decade.

“Mitch and I worked together for the last 11 years. He came in as treasurer and I came in as superintendent. I think my colleagues and I would all agree that we have never met an individual who approached work and life with such a positive attitude,” Henderson said at the board meeting. “He was a proud, caring husband and father. We as a district are going to do everything we can to support the family.”

MORE: PHOTOS: Luxury ‘staycation house’ on market for nearly $1.2M in Washington Twp.

A joint statement between Mayor Brooks Compton and City Manager Wayne Davis illustrated how much city officials respected Biederman and his family.

“It is with heartfelt condolences to the Biederman Family, the Centerville Schools and our community as a whole that we express our sadness for the loss of Mitch Biederman. Mitch was an outstanding financial professional who charted the course and maintained the resources and needs of our outstanding School District for the last decade,” the statement, released to this news organization said. “Mitch was one of those people who never experienced a cloudy day. He was always looking for the positive in all situations. He was a shining light in our community who embraced and brought out the good in the people he encountered.”

The statement added, “Athletic pursuits and exercise were a central part of his life in our community. Those of us who have knew Mitch understand that this is the person he was. Not only have we lost a professional partner within the community leadership realm, we have also lost a friend and a family man.”

Biederman, 55, was hired as Centerville’s treasurer in 2009. He won the Auditor of State Award with Distinction last winter, and was a fitness enthusiast who biked and competed in many running races around the region, from 5Ks to marathons.

MORE: Dayton Heals: Website created to highlight trauma resources

About the Author