Richard Ivey, Canadian business leader and philanthropist, dead at 94

Canadian businessman and philanthropist Richard Ivey has died at age 94 in Toronto. Born in London, Ont., where Western University's business school bears his name, he's being remembered as a great family man and for a life dedicated to community service and charitable giving.

Born in London, Ont., Ivey graduated from Western University's business school that now bears his name

Richard Ivey, Canadian philanthropist and business leader, died in his sleep Saturday in Toronto. (Supplied by Ivey Business School)

Canadian businessman Richard Ivey, a philanthropist who died Saturday at age 94, is being remembered as a great family man whose partnership with his wife led to a life dedicated to community service and charitable giving. 

Ivey, who was born in London, Ont., died in his sleep in Toronto, his family says in the obituary published Monday.  

Richard and Beryl Ivey's love and commitment to philanthropy stood out, and not just through the Ivey name that graces foundations and buildings in Ontario cities, including the Ivey Business School at Western University, where he graduated with an honours in business administration degree.

Richard and Beryl, who died in 2007, had four children.

"Richard's 58-year marriage to Beryl was a true partnership," Richard's obituary reads. "She stood by his side when challenging businesses decisions were needed. She was equally committed to community service and raised their family with intelligence and passion. 

"Beryl was also Richard's invaluable companion in their three great interests, world travel, Canadian art and the environment." 

Family history of philanthropy

Richard Ivey and his dad, Richard G. Ivey, also a lawyer, businessman and philanthropist, incorporated the Ivey Foundation in 1947. 

It's the fifth oldest private family foundation in Canada, making charitable grants of $100 million since its inception, according to the family. Ivey was the foundation's director for 50 years and president for 30 years. 

Ivey was also the chancellor of Western University, and served on boards at WWF Canada, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Robarts Research Institute. He was named a companion of the Order of Canada in 2000.

A private family funeral will take place this week. Celebrations of life will be held in Toronto and London at dates that have yet to be announced.