GREENVILLE — Greenville donor Ivan Patterson could think of no better way of closing out his milestone 90th year of life than with a milestone gift of life. Patterson made his 500th lifetime blood donation at the Greenville Ministerial Association blood drive January 9 at the Greenville Church of the Brethren.
Ivan is a pioneer platelet and plasma donor with Community Blood Center and a member of the original LifeLeaders apheresis team. He declared two years ago, “My goal is to get to 500 during the year that I turn 90!” and he kept his promise.
He first donated in 1945 at age 18 and his 500th donation comes less than a month before his 91st birthday celebration on February 7. He drew closer to his goal by making 21 platelet and plasma donations in 2017. His milestone came on his first donation of 2018.
“I didn’t worry about it,” Ivan said about accomplishing his goal. “The last five years I’ve been more consistent about doing it. I first gave platelets in 1976. That was when they took blood from one arm and put it back in the other.”
Two years ago Ivan pulled out his oldest CBC t-shirt to wear to “T-Shirt Day” at the Great Darke County Fair. It reads, “I Got This T-Shirt Because I’m an Apheresis LifeLeader – First Apheresis LifeLeader Event, June 28, 1992.”
“There’s no replacement for blood,” Ivan told the Greenville Daily Advocate. “It’s helping people the only way they can get help. It doesn’t cost anything except time.”
Patterson was born in Trotwood. He co-founded Korrect Plumbing, Heating & Air in 1950 at the age of 23 and married his wife Clara a month later. They raised six children, and now have 15 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren with two more due this spring.
He developed Korrect into one of the region’s largest plumbing service businesses before retiring in 1997. The company is still family-owned and operated. “You know how many heating and plumbing calls they got during this cold weather?” he noted, “Over 900!”
Ivan and Clara have lived at Chestnut Village at the Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville since 1998. The family opened the Korrect Foundation in 2014 to honor Ivan’s 65 years in business and encourage employees to request grants for charitable causes.
He is proud to have served on more than a dozen charitable boards, many with the Oakland and Bear Creek congregations of the Church of the Brethren.
He’s now Darke County’s oldest active blood donor, a testimony to his longevity. Both his father and uncle died of heart disease before the age of 60.
“I don’t worry,” said Ivan. “Worry doesn’t solve anything. Good food, good health, good wife and six children. Always work, up at six, home at six and in bed by 11.”
“He’s just amazing,” said donor Denise Miller, whose mother is a Chestnut Village neighbor. “He’s 90 years old, but they drive to Dayton when he donates there. He’s always busy.”
“Are you going to continue to give, maybe not as often?” asked donor Dixie Halderman as Ivan sat with Clara in the Donor Café.
“You always have to have a goal,” Ivan replied. “My next goal is to reach 600 donations by age 95.”
“Relax, you’re old!” said Clara. “That’s why I’m relaxed,” Ivan said with a smile.