Union donor Mary Catron is proud of the small business she owned and operated in her hometown for 40 years. It saddens her that “Mary’s Hair Designers” is no more. But there is no retiring from blood donating yet for Mary, and her milestone 100th lifetime donation May 23 at the Dayton Community Blood Center adds greatly to her legacy.
“I got started because I went to Stillwater Church,” she said about the journey to her milestone donation. “We had a mobile that came out to the church. At that time you could say where you wanted it to go. I donated it to Stillwater United Methodist Church. That had to be at least 20 years ago.”
It’s not surprising that someone so dedicated to the cause of blood donations would be just as firmly committed to the small business she built in Union. “I was a hairdresser for 40 years,” she said. “I bought my own building. Before that I had rented different places in Union. At the most I had three employees.”
Mary retired 13 years ago and sold the business she spent decades nourishing. “It closed after three years,” she said with regret. “The building is still vacant. It’s hard enough to build a business like that.”
Mary wouldn’t have lasted so long in business if she didn’t know how to adapt to change. Reading is a favorite pastime, and she once carried a book with her to her regular donations at the Dayton CBC Donor Center. Now it’s an iPad that she keeps handy to read the fiction she downloads from the public library.
Retirement remains busy for Mary and her husband Charles. They will be married 58 years in October and have four children (two daughters, two sons) and seven grandchildren. “I just became a great-grandmother this month with twins,” she said. It’s a joy to have most of her family living nearby.
The former “Mary’s Hair Designers” may be out of business. But donating blood and helping save lives is business as usual for Mary Catron, a true “Donor for Life.”
“I come down here every time I become eligible,” she said, putting it in terms that any shrewd small business owner would easily understand. “Blood isn’t something you can make. You have to have a donor, or you don’t get it.”