AUBURN — The late Burt Dickman is among 10 honorees who will be inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame in August as the Class of 2020, the foundation’s board of directors has announced.
Of the inductees, five are chosen from the recreational vehicle industry and five from the manufactured housing industry. Dickman is being honored for his contributions to the manufactured housing industry.
Dickman, who died Dec. 27, 2018, and his wife, Elsie, opened Auburn Mobile Home Park in June 1955. The couple built West Edge Park, which opened in 1965, as well as a mobile home sales office two years later. A site for a car wash was developed during that time, as well as the West Edge Laundry.
Dickman was a member of the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association Northeast Chapter since 1958. Over the years he served as its president, vice president and on the board of governors. He was named the IMHA Citizen of the Year in 1975.
He was elected to serve on the Auburn City Council from 1980-1983 and then served as the 15th mayor of Auburn from 1984-1991.
In its announcement of its honorees, the foundation said, “For more than 60 years Burt Dickman demonstrated his hard-working talents as a visionary of the highest moral character.”
Dickman’s daughter, Susan Reger, nominated her father for the award. She submitted the nomination in 2016, and it remained valid since that time, she explained.
“When they called, they didn’t realize he had passed away,” Reger said about the hall of fame. “I took the call at the office. It made me cry. It’s an awesome honor that he would have loved. He never looked for accolades. Being honored is such a blessing.”
In the nomination, Reger said Mr. Dickman “firmly believes in manufactured housing” and in 1988, during his second term as mayor, he began to live what he believed and moved into a sectional manufactured home, welcoming thousands of people there.
She described her father as being hardworking, visionary and moral.
“Burt committed to providing affordable housing,” she wrote. “Poor but young, while working full-time at another job, he and his wife manually installed utility lines and lots at their first small mobile home park.
“As demand grew, Burt’s foresight to purchase land beside a proposed interstate highway grew into West Edge Park, a Community of Convenience, offering city utilities and walking distance to businesses, industries, parks and recreation,” Reger said.
“An ethical man knows what is right: a moral man does what is right. Even the tough decisions, including financial, were made with true moral character, which Burt possesses.”
Reger’s nomination included three letters of support, including one from former Auburn Mayor Norm Yoder.
“Congratulations to the 10 new honorees. All of them have had or are having outstanding careers and are richly deserving of this high honor,” said hall of fame foundation President Darryl Searer.
Searer also applauded the work of the nominating committee.
“I was especially impressed with the committee’s work for the diversity of this year’s class — not only in the inductees’ regions within the U.S, but also the diversion of nominees’ industry segments such as suppliers, manufacturers, dealers, association executives.”
The Class of 2020 will be officially inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame at the annual induction ceremonies and dinner on Aug. 3 in Elkhart.