Thursday, May 24, 2018
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William H. Patterson [1921-2014]; Sheller-Globe V.P. led firm’s finances




William H. Patterson, 92, a retired executive and former chief financial officer with the former Sheller-Globe Corp., died Saturday in his home in Canton, Mich.

He moved from Ottawa Hills into an assisted-living facility in Canton about a year ago to be closer to his son, William, who said his father died from complications of sepsis caused by an infection.

A Toledo native, Mr. Patterson’s career with Sheller-Globe Corp. and its subsidiaries spanned 40 years, and he had a close working relationship with the late Chester Devenow, who grew the automotive supplier into a Fortune 500 company.

“He loved his job. But what I think he loved the most about it were the people. My dad was a people person from the lowest person to the highest. He treated everyone with respect and equality,” his son said.

He was born Dec. 16, 1921, to Freda and William Patterson, who was a grocery-store owner. Mr. Patterson said his father made deliveries for his father to residents in the Old West End. He graduated in 1939 from Scott High School and continued his education at the University of Toledo, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Chi fraternity.

After earning a business administration degree in 1943, he went into the Army. He joined the City Auto Stamping Co. in 1946 after he was discharged from World War II service, and was named company treasurer in 1954.

He became vice president of finance for Globe-Wernicke Industries, which was City Auto Stamping’s parent company, in 1965.

After the company absorbed Sheller Manufacturing Corp. in Detroit, he was elected to the same position in the newly formed Sheller-Globe Corp.

He became senior vice president of finance in 1972 and was promoted two years later to executive vice president of finance and chief financial officer. He held that position until January, 1986, when he was named vice president and assistant to Mr. Devenow, the chief executive officer and president.

“Chet was the entrepreneur. He had the mind to grow the company, and he had a lot of connections in the automotive world,” Mr. Patterson said. “My dad worked closely with him to scout out acquisitions and arrange for the financing.”

Later that year, the company was taken over in a leveraged buyout.

Thomas Kress, a retired chief financial officer of Sheller-Globe, said Mr. Patterson was very respected in the company. “He treated everybody with respect,” he said.

Mr. Patterson married the former Eleanor Robbins on Sept. 11, 1948. She died April 24, 2004.

Among the boards he served on were Flower Hospital and its foundation; Sylvania Bank Corp., the American Red Cross’ Toledo chapter, Committee for Effective Government, Toledo Rotary Club, and Toledo Chapter of Financial Executives Institute.

In 1983, the Alumni Association of UT’s College of Business Administration presented Mr. Patterson with the Pacemaker of the Year award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in business and contributions to the community and the university.

Mr. Patterson served as president of the UT Alumni Foundation in 1975 after two years as vice president. He had been chairman of the foundation’s investment committee.

Surviving are his daughter, Janet; son, William, and two granddaughters.

A memorial service is set for 11 a.m. Saturday in Epworth United Methodist Church, 4855 W. Central Ave., where friends will be received at 10 a.m. Saturday. Walker Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

The family suggests tributes to the University of Toledo Foundation.

Contact Mark Reiter at: or 419-724-6199.

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