A man with a history of showing his love for the theater got a little bit of that love returned on Monday (Dec. 2) morning.

The Elkhart Truth reported that Skyline Corp. founder Art Decio, a board member for the Lerner Theatre and an emeritus member of the University of Notre Dame board of trustees, was honored when he discovered his name was emblazoned on a plaque in the lobby of the Lerner Theatre.

“Everyone around you that knows you becomes a better person, and I am no exception,” Mayor Tim Neese told Decio. “You’re the person that, when we’re in need of something, we go to – and you always say yes to the city of Elkhart.”

Several years ago, Neese said, Decio was part of a panel assessing the viability of the ELCO theater and whether or not it was feasible to remake the property into what is today the Lerner Theatre.

“Art not only was instrumental in raising the money but was probably the largest financial contributor,” Neese said.

Decio appeared on a 1965 cover of Time, honoring him in its “Millionaires Under 40” issue. Decio is known for the millions of dollars he’s donated to charity, advisory boards he’s served on, and time spent leading and volunteering. Decio is also known for his work with the Salvation Army, United Way, local colleges and several churches, including those in Jerusalem.

“The theater has something to do with making people happy,” Decio said. “I was a customer in this theater when I was 9 years old.”

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