Art Decio, Manufactured Housing Pioneer and “The Heart of Elkhart” Has Passed Away at age 90
The City of Elkhart, Indiana, and the nation’s manufactured home industry have lost a giant. Arthur Decio, a longtime community leader, philanthropist, and legendary founder of Skyline Homes passed away on Friday, Nov.6, at the age of 90.
Art Decio, “the heart of Elkhart,” was chronicled in a PBS documentary in 2015 titled, “Art Decio: – A Wonderful Life,” which reported Art’s contributions to the arts, education, and community development as well as personal stories from remaining lifelong friends. That documentary can be streamed online.
Ara Parseghian, Hall of Fame coach, University of Notre Dame, said,” if we had more Art Decio’s, this world would be a much better place than it was.”
“Art Decio was a giant in Elkhart. But it never felt that way when you talked to him; you were just talking to Art. His legacy is building community, service, and love for his home that will make Elkhart a better place for many years to come. I am humbled by his contributions and will carry his spirit with me as I continue to serve this great city. We mourn with his family, friends, and with all of Elkhart today,” said Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson.
During his five-decade manufactured housing career, Mr. Decio has repeatedly been recognized for his achievements in business and his commitment to a wide range of civic, religious, educational, and humanitarian causes.
SKYLINE CORPORATION ORIGINATED IN A SMALL GARAGE IN 1952
Art Decio joined Skyline in June of 1952 when it began operations in his father’s small Elkhart welding garage. In June of 1959, at the age of 28, he directed an expansion program, initially opening manufacturing facilities in California, Texas, Louisiana, Kansas, Oregon, and soon thereafter across the United States, which made Skyline a leading national producer of manufactured housing. The company enjoyed profitability every year during his leadership as Chief Executive Officer from 1952 through 1998.
Mr. Decio has served on the boards of more than 44 civic, religious, educational, business, financial and non-profit organizations and has received more than 40 awards for his leadership in voluntary affairs.
Past Arthur J. Decio national manufactured home board memberships awards and positions include:
Mobile Home Manufacturers Association, Washington, D.C. Chairman, Washington Affairs Committee – 1969 – Later became known as the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), where he served as Board Member for 12 years and Past Chairman 1970-1971
Inducted into the Mobile Home Hall of Fame…1975
Distinguished Service Award, Iowa Manufactured Housing Association….1976
Outstanding Service and Leadership in the Manufactured Housing Industry Award – California Manufactured Housing Association … 1977. (Later to become the California Manufactured Housing Insitute).
Industry Man of the Year – New Jersey Manufactured Housing Association…..1977
1989 James R. Price/AUTOMATED BUILDER Achievement in Housing Award, presented by Automated Builder, National Management Magazine for Manufactured Housing and Volume Builders …. January 1990
ManufacturedHomes.com extends its sincere condolences and best wishes to the family, and the many friends and admirers saddened by his loss.
The Decio family will celebrate his life in a private Mass, with interment at Cedar Grove Cemetary on the University of Notre Dame’s campus. Palmer Funeral Home – Hickey Chapel, South Bend, is assisting the family with arrangements. — – Online condolences may be offered at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com