Merlyn D. “Mike” Umbaugh, whom many credit with helping create the highline motorhome segment, died Wednesday (Dec. 5) at age 72 at a hospital in Warsaw, Ind.

Umbaugh owned Barth Motor Co., Milford, Ind., from 1968 until selling the company in 1995.

Barth produced motorhomes and travel trailers from 1969 through 1973, when it left the towable RV business.

The company halted production in 1996 and attempts to revive the firm, which continues to have a positive brand identity, have, so far, been unsuccessful.

Early in his career, Umbaugh, among other things, worked as a banker and in the farm fertilizer business, before buying Barth, when the motorhome business was in its infancy.

Funeral services will be Saturday (Dec. 8) in Syracuse, Ind.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or American Heart Association.