Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Indiana Beach stalwart dies

Thomas Earl Spackman, a former IAAPA president and the son of Indiana Beach founder Earl W Spackman, has passed away at the age of 100.

Earl founded Ideal Beach in Monticello, Indiana, in 1926, with Tom becoming its chief executive officer in 1945, changing its name seven years later to Indiana Beach, “Riviera of the Midwest”. The park grew significantly during his reign, developing into a major regional summer resort. In 2008, when sold to Morgan RV Resorts, it boasted 28 adult rides, nine children’s rides, a fun house, shops, miniature golf, a waterpark, swimming, restaurants and resort accommodation.

Serving as president of IAAPA in 1975, Tom received a Meritorious Service Award from the association in 2003. He also boasted many state and national honours. Along with the late Bill Koch of Holiday World, Tom founded the Indiana Travel and Tourism Association which later became the Indiana Department of Tourism.

Thomas Earl Spackmen died on 11 November. Surviving are two sons, Thomas E Spackman and James  Spackman, three daughters, Joy A Boomershine Bailey, Ruth C Davis and Cathy J Juntgen, plus 14 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

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