Man, 96, focuses on blood donation, charity

Jefferson Twp. native Ivan Patterson grew up in Trotwood at a time when “my parents had to carry water in and out, and we didn’t have electricity until I was 10,” said the 96-year-old, who lived in Trotwood most of his life.

“I started working in plumbing when I was 15 with my brother-in-law for his brother. In 1945, a worker on the job needed blood, so I went to Dayton and Cincinnati and gave blood.” That began a lifelong commitment when he realized that one donation could help save the lives of three people.

An active member of the Church of the Brethren, he met his wife at a church conference in Ocean Grove New Jersey. “We had a lot of common friends, were both active in the church, and served on many committees.”

In 1950, a month after he and Clara married, he co-founded Korrect Plumbing with his brother and brother-in-law. “Clara and I married in September, hired our first employee in December, and by the time I retired, there were 28 employees — now there are more than 80 employees.”

When he retired in 1998, he and Clara – who had been the company’s bookkeeper, handling most of the office work — moved to a Church of the Brethren retirement community in Greenville, “where I served on every kind of committee in the church, the school board and the retirement community.” He no longer drives, but a daughter takes him to the blood drives every month.

Ivan’s son, Daniel, became president of the company, followed by his daughter, Martha. “During those years, air conditioning was added, then my sons bought Tobias Plumbing and got into drain cleaning, too,” Ivan noted.

The company is now in its third generation of Pattersons – Ivan and Clara’s grandson Nate, a Trotwood resident, is president and Josh is vice president. “When I was 12 I’d work in the warehouse sweeping floors,” Nate recalls. Later, he earned a business degree from Cedarville College. “Josh came in fulltime in 2000, and in 2002, I came in.

“Dad’s youngest sister, Martha, worked here more than 30 years; and when she retired, I became president. We have opportunities for a fourth generation, but we hope to have it as an option for them – our parents never urged us, and we won’t urge them.”

In keeping with their grandfather’s charity work, Korrect is sending a crew to Kentucky in areas where recent flooding did the most damage to help with the new housing.

Dayton’s Community Blood Center Marketing director Mark Pompilio is especially impressed with Ivan’s continued donation of blood. “He defies the odds,” he says of Ivan. “In addition to blood, he was one of the first to donate apheresis back in the 80s, a complicated procedure that takes longer than blood. He still wears an old T-shirt that identifies him as a plasma and platelet donor, as well as a Korrect plumbing shirt from around 1980.

“He goes to a blood center every month,” said Pompilio. On Valentine’s Day, he donated plasma for his 570th lifetime donation and was given a carnation from the Flower Patch for Clara.” He had made his milestone 500th donation just before his 91st birthday in 2018.

“A blood van from Dayton comes to the Brethren retirement center on the second Tuesday of every month, and my daughter takes me there to donate plasma,” said Ivan.

“My goal is 600 donations by the time I’m 100, I’ve donated 570 times, and I’m 96 now – I have 30 to go.”

Grandson Nate thinks that Ivan’s longevity can be attributed, at least in part, to those donations. “He gives his old blood away, and gets new blood every month,” he observed.

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