Thomas Earl Spackman


July 5, 1913 - November 11, 2013

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Thomas Earl Spackman, 100, of Monticello, died at 5:00 am, Monday , November 11, 2013 at White Oak Health Campus. He was the son of Earl W. Spackman who founded Ideal Beach in 1926. He was born in Highland Park, Michigan and the family later moved to Indianapolis where Tom graduated from Shortridge High School. He was a life time member of Indiana University Emeritus Club earning a B.S. degree in Business in 1937. On July 13, 1937 he married the former Helen F. Quackenbush in Crown Point, Indiana and she preceded him in death on July 7, 1993. He became CEO of Ideal Beach in 1945 and later changed the name from Ideal Beach to Indiana Beach “Riviera of the Midwest” in 1952. Mr. Spackman was a member of Monticello Christian Church, Chamber of Commerce, and served on the first White County Hospital Foundation.

Surviving are two sons, Thomas E. Spackman (Dr. Carol Bridges, MD) of Newbury Park, California, James W. (Patty) Spackman of Cornville, Arizonia; three daughters, Joy A. Boomershine Bailey(Richard) Bailey, Ruth C. (James) Davis, and Cathy J.(Steven) Juntgen of Monticello; fourteen grandchildren; and eleven great-grandchildren.

Tom Spackman , as Chief Executive Officer of Indiana Beach Amusement and Camp Resort, worked to significantly improve the industry’s status and reputation regionally, nationally, and internationally. Indiana Beach Amusement and Camp Resort originally opened nearly 86 years ago in its current location as a swimming and boating area. In 2008, when sold, it had 28 adult rides, nine children’s rides, a fun house, shops, miniature golf, a water park, swimming, restaurants and resort accommodations. It was known throughout the Midwest as a place where families go to enjoy good clean family fun. In a resolution in 2004, the State of Indiana recognized Mr. Spackman's contributions to the state acknowledging among other things that largely due to the efforts of Tom Spackman, Sr. the world knows that “There’s more than corn in Indiana.” He was a true entrepreneur extraordinaire.

Some of Tom’s state and national honors received were: Sagamore of the Wabash on the 75th Indiana Beach Anniversary year by Gov. Frank O’Bannon, 2003 Meritorious Service Award by International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, 2004 State of Indiana Restaurant and Hospitality Association Hall of Fame, recipient of the Monticello Chamber of Commerce Lakes Award, winner of 14 Brass Ring awards in radio and television for originality, creativity, and excellence in marketing, advertising, and promotional campaigns, winner of the State of Indiana “50 year” Small Business Award, Monticello Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award, won NAPPB’S (now known as IAAPA) promotion of the year in 1950 with the “Man Living under Water” and again in 1986 with “There’s More than Corn in Indiana”.

Mr. Spackman’s achievements include building Indiana Beach Amusement Resort into a major regional summer resort, building Indiana Beach Campground Resort and Jellystone Camp Resort, designing six of Indiana Beach’s amusement attractions (Sky Ride, Shafer Queen, Mystery Mansion, Dr. Frankenstein’s Castle, Antique Auto, and Superstition Mountain). Bill Luse Sr. did the construction for all of these rides except for the Antique Auto Track. Along with Bill Koch of Holiday World, Tom founded the Indiana Travel and Tourism Association which later became the Indiana Department of Tourism. Tom was Director from 1983-1989, he created and funded the Visitor’s Guide and Lake Guide to promote the Monticello tourist industry, pioneered the first Lake Shafer cleanup with the installation of a sewage treatment facility, Served as 1975 President of International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), he donated land and worked to make North 6th Street a reality, and in 1990 he was the Co-Chair with Dr. Nolan Hibner of the White County Memorial Hospital Capitol Campaign that raised more than $900,000 for a new addition to the hospital.

Visitation will be from 3pm – 8pm, Thursday, November 14, 2013 at Springer-Voorhis-Draper Funeral Home, 202 S. Illinois Street, Monticello, Indiana and also one hour prior to services at the church Friday, November 15, 2013.

Funeral Services will be at 1:30pm, Friday, at Monticello Christian Church, 1002 Airport Road, Monticello, Indiana with Rev. Chris Dodson officiating.

Burial will follow at Riverview I.O.O.F Cemetery for those who are able to attend, otherwise friends are encouraged to proceed to the Sportsman Annex for a time of fellowship and hors d’oeuvres.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are encouraged to be given to the White County Community Foundation to benefit the White County Youth Chamber Fund or to the Monticello-Union Township Public Library Operating Fund. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

You may sign the online guest book at www.springerfuneralhome.com


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