Industry leader and former IAAPA Chairman of the Board Gary Story passed away on Saturday, Sept. 21 in Oklahoma City.
The 40-year industry veteran served IAAPA as an active and passionate volunteer leader for many years, including serving on Nominating, Executive/Finance, and Advisory Committees, and on the Board of Directors. He was Chairman of the Board of IAAPA in 2004.
Gary began his theme park career in 1972 as a seasonal employee at Six Flags St. Louis in park operations and retail. From 1982 to 1984 Gary worked in a consulting role in two new parks: Luna Park in Sydney, Australia, and Diversiones del Reino in Mexico City, Mexico. He returned to the United States as General Manager of Frontier City theme park in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1984.
From 1992-1994, Gary was Executive Vice President for Six Flags Inc. and led the regional theme park company as President, Chief Operating Officer, and Director through 2003.
Gary and his business partner, Kieran Burke led an investment group to purchase and operate Nashville Shores water park, marina, and RV resort in Hermitage, Tennessee in 2009 and Ocean Breeze Waterpark in Virginia Beach, Virginia in 2011.
Gary and Kieran also led Premier Attractions Management, the company that manages Frontier City and White Water Bay, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Splashtown water park in Houston, Texas.
Gary was very involved in his community with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Rotary Club, the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, the Boy Scouts of America, the State Fair of Oklahoma, and UNICEF.
A graduate of the University of Missouri, Gary is survived by his wife Lorena and his three children.
IAAPA Chairman Will Morey commented, "Gary had a boundless passion for the industry and was an avid supporter and contributor to IAAPA throughout his career."
“Gary contributed a great deal to IAAPA and was an impassioned promoter of our industry,” said IAAPA President and CEO Paul Noland. “We are sorry to hear the news of his passing. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
The funeral service will be this Friday, September 27 at noon.
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
900 South Littler Avenue (at 9th and Boulevard)
Edmond, OK 73034
Read Gary Story's obituary.
Read FUNWORLD feature on Gary Story published in November 2003.