In memoriam: Arthur J. Decio, University Trustee

Author: Dennis Brown

Arthur J. Decio. Photo by Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame.

Arthur J. Decio, a longtime Trustee of the University of Notre Dame, died today. He was 90.

Art was a cherished, wise and generous friend of Notre Dame, and a dear friend to me personally,” University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., said. “He likewise lent his many talents to innumerable civic, religious, educational and humanitarian causes here in the South Bend-Elkhart region, statewide and nationally. My prayers are with his family and many friends as we mourn his passing while celebrating a life so very well lived.”

Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., president emeritus, added: "Art Decio was a good friend and a wise counselor. He is among the most generous people I have ever met and was responsive to every good cause that came to him for help. He was a person of deep integrity and profound faith. I will miss him."

Decio was the retired chairman, president, director and chief executive officer of Skyline Corp., an Elkhart, Indiana-based producer of manufactured housing and recreational vehicles. He joined the company in 1952 when it operated out of a small Elkhart welding garage and grew it into a national leader in the industry with eight operating divisions across the country.

Decio was elected to Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees in 1971 and was elevated to emeritus status in 2001. A Notre Dame parent, he was a founding member of the University’s Cavanaugh Council and a generous benefactor, including gifts for the construction of Decio Faculty Hall and the Patricia George Decio Theatre in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. In addition to the Cavanaugh Council, he also was a member of the President’s Circle and John Cardinal O’Hara Society and supported the Snite Museum, Student Emergency Relief Fund, Ara Parseghian Medical Research Fund and Hesburgh Libraries. He received a Notre Dame honorary degree in 1975.

In addition to his service to Notre Dame, Decio was a past chairman and trustee emeritus of Holy Cross College, a trustee of Hillsdale College and an advisory board member of Indiana University South Bend. The Brothers of Holy Cross and Holy Cross College bestowed the first Cross of Hope Award on Decio in 1996 and an honorary degree in 2019. He also received honorary degrees from Hillsdale, Indiana State University, Purdue University, Saint Mary’s College, Vincennes University and Salem College.

He received presidential appointments to three national commissions and served on the boards of more than 45 organizations, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Other organizations to benefit from his service were the Elkhart General Hospital Foundation, Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board, Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation and Nibco Inc.

Decio was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Patricia.

Arrangements are pending.