Ellis (Lee) Patterson, 82, passed away peacefully in his sleep Friday, May 14, 2021 in Blue Creek, Ohio. Lee was born Oct. 15, 1938, in Ravenswood, W.V., to Elizabeth Givens Hoffman, who survives, and the late Eugene Patterson. Lee married his wife of 47 years, Judy Whitmire Patterson, and she survives.
Lee was raised in the Wellsburg, W.V., area by his mother and stepfather, the late Lawrence Hoffman. After high school, Lee spent three years in the U.S. Marine Corp. Upon returning home he resumed being a mechanic.
His love of vehicles, – driving them and working on them – led him to become a NASCAR driver in the early 1960s. Lee would wind up in Ohio as a mechanic at Donaldson Ford in Maumee, where he broke his right hand and switched to being a salesman.
He was very successful in that area, and continued in sales until 1970, when he started his own dealership, Lee’s Sales and Service, in Swanton. By his retirement in 2009, it had become the largest used vehicle full service dealership in northwest Ohio.
Lee also became a Mason in the 1970s at the Swanton Lodge. After retirement he moved to Blue Creek, Ohio, to enjoy the beauty and friendship of the area. Among his hobbies were boating, bluegrass festivals, horseback riding, hiking, hunting, and fishing.
He is also survived by his daughters, Leanne Patterson (Mark) Yentzer of Blue Creek, Ohio, and Pamela Patterson (Larry) Pever of Oak Harbor, Ohio; sons, Michael (Heather) Patterson of Rocky Point, N.C., and Jay (Charlotte) Patterson of Hampstead, N.C.; 10 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
There are no planned services at this time. Thompson-Meeker Funeral Home of West Union is entrusted with Lee’s cremation.
In lieu of flowers or donations, please contribute to the Portsmouth,Va. or SOMC Hospice.
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