‘An institution in Dayton;’ State, local leaders remember Clay Mathile

DAYTON — Dayton-area businessman and philanthropist Clay Mathile is being remembered and honored by many in the wake of his passing.

Mathile died Saturday at his home near Dayton, his family announced.

>> RELATED: Clay Mathile, Dayton-area businessman and philanthropist, dies at 82

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said he was “deeply saddened” to learn of his friend’s death.

“For many years, Clay was the go-to leader of the business community in Dayton. He was a visionary, and through his passion and belief in the future of the Miami Valley, he saw what was possible and made others believe in what could be achieved. He was also a mentor to so many young businessmen and women, taking his life experiences in business to help others reach their own full potential,” DeWine’s statement read in part.

Congressman Mike Turner (R-OH) said Mathile was an “instrumental member” of and an advocate for the community.

“Clay embodied the American Dream. His hard work, grit, and determination helped him find success. Clay donated tens of millions of dollars and gave back to the Miami Valley,” Turner said.

Ohio Senator Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) remembered Mathile as an “innovative entrepreneur.”

“Clay Mathile was an innovative entrepreneur who changed the landscape of the Dayton region, the State of Ohio, and the nation for the better. From founding one of the pre-eminent American brands to his astounding charity work, Clay Mathile was an institution in Dayton whose legacy will rightfully live on through the thousands he had employed and all of the good works he has done,” Antani wrote.

Jeff Hoagland, Dayton Development Coalition (DDC) president and CEO, remembered Mathile, who was a founder of the DDC, as a man who “always saw Dayton’s potential, even with many of us struggled to see it ourselves.”

>> Ohio Task Force 1 members, K-9s returning home from Maui

“He saw our region’s weaknesses as opportunities for growth and he believed in fostering community collaboration to solve tough problems with compassion and humility. We strive to honor his legacy and will continue to work to bring Mr. Mathile’s vision of the Dayton Region to life,” Hoagland said.

Montgomery County Commissioners Debbie Lieberman, Judy Dodge and Carolyn Rice sent a statement saying they are “so saddened” to learn about the passing of philanthropist and friend, Clay Mathile.

“Not only was he an extremely talented businessman, he truly thrived on helping others, whether that meant assisting entrepreneurs to realize their dream or providing resources to young mothers in the area who were looking to create a more secure future for themselves and their families. Clay had such a positive impact on this community. Today, although we mourn his death, we also celebrate his life and honor his memory. Our thoughts are with his wife, children and grandchildren on this very sad day,” the statement read.

Sinclair Community College called Mathile one of its “most ardent supporters.”

“The Mathile’s support has helped Sinclair Community College serve students in a variety of ways, from direct aid to students through the Mathile College Completion Scholarship to invaluable student services through the City Connects program, which provides intensive school-based support systems to ensure student success in college and beyond. The Mathiles combined 27 consecutive years of giving make them one of the largest contributors to the Sinclair Community College Foundation,” a spokesperson said in part.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Sinclair Dr. Steven Johnson called Mathile a “steadfast pillar of support and generosity for the Dayton region.”

Comments on this article