On December 15, 2012, the Indiana State Library Volunteer Program lost one of our longest and finest volunteers. Gene Arthur Slaymaker was an early contributor to the Indiana Voices program, loaning his talents to one of the first books produced in the library, The War Comes to Plum Creek. Once a week, he came to the library to narrate books for the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library. His contributions provided Hoosiers with visual or physical disabilities with access to Indiana-related books and magazines that otherwise would have been unavailable.
Since February 2008, he volunteered 200 hours recording books for Talking Books’ Indiana Voices collection. We will miss his voice, his charm, his dedication, and his enthusiasm; we will miss him.
Below is his December 18, 2012 obituary which can also be viewed on the Indianapolis Star website.
Gene Arthur Slaymaker ~ September 15, 1928 - December 15, 2012
Veteran broadcaster Gene Arthur Slaymaker died December 15, 2012. The son of Edwin Paul and Anna Elizabeth (Grable) was born in Kenton, Ohio on September 15, 1928 and raised in Fremont, Ohio. After serving in WWII, he majored in Radio Journalism at Ohio State University where he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and Sigma Delta Chi while being a reporter and announcer for WLWC-TV.
Upon graduation, he was an anchor and reporter for Youngstown, Ohio's WKBN-AM-FM-TV before joining Cleveland's KYW-TV. In 1956, he became News Editor of WFBM-AM-FM-TV. In 1960, he founded public relations firm Slaymaker and Associates. Nine years later, he was recruited to WTLC-FM and WTUX-AM radio where he served as News Director for 18 national award-winning years. Contest judges called him the "voice for those who had no voice." A fact recognized by the Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame, who inducted him in 2007.
Slaymaker was President of The Lambs Club, the Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association and the Indiana Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, who established the Gene and Julie Slaymaker "Indiana Service to Journalism" award in honor of their 30 years of service to the organization as statewide contest coordinators.
He was a two-time candidate for the Indiana State Legislature. He co-founded the Indiana Scarborough Peace Games. He was elected twice as a Regional Director of the Radio-Television News Directors Association. He was a member of the Park Tudor Father's Association Board, The Players, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and The Indianapolis Press Club. He was the second male admitted into Woman's Press Club of Indiana, an affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women. He contributed his time and talent to both organizations, including serving as their current treasurer.
Who's Who of America recognizes his over 200 journalism awards, including three coveted National Headliners Award.
He spell-bound two generations of trick-or-treaters as Count Dracula. His homemade sleigh has been an enchanting, neighborhood Christmas tradition since 1979.
In retirement, he leant his bass voice to the Indiana State Library's "Talking Books for the Blind."
Slaymaker is survived by wife Julie; children Jill (Ned Ginsburg) Slaymaker, Woody (FangJi) Slaymaker, Leslie (Joe) Farrell and adopted son, Peter Bannon; and step-children David (Susan) Nash and Jennifer (Tony) Page. Grandpa Geno will be missed by grandchildren Meaghan, Tristan and Connor Farrell, Alex Ginsburg, Rachel Nash, Dylan and Cody Page, and Martha and Elisabye Slaymaker.
He was predeceased by brothers Richard and Tom Slaymaker. He is survived by siblings Mary Ann Benfer, Sharon St. Clair and Dr. Phil Slaymaker.
His life will be celebrated on December 27th at the Slaymaker home beginning at 5 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests a tax-deductible contribution be made to the Julie and Gene Slaymaker Scholarship Fund administered by Woman's Press Club of Indiana's Education Fund, Inc. Donations should be sent to the National Bank of Indianapolis, 49th and Pennsylvania, Indianapolis, IN 46201.
Arrangements entrusted to Aaron Ruben Nelson Mortuary . Friends may leave a memory or message of condolence at www.arnmortuary.com.