Tributes from Washington D.C. to back home in Indiana are reflecting on the life of Pershing E."P.E" MacAllister. The noted philanthropist and prominent Indianapolis businessman passed away Wednesday at the age of 101.
“In one of the greatest understatements of all time, a year ago upon his 100th birthday, P.E. called himself a ‘bit player’ in some of the city’s top achievements of the last 50 years,” commented Kevin Brinegar, president of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. “In fact, his business and political acumen have been critical to the vibrant Indianapolis and broader community that we know today.”
MacAllister was chairman of the board of Indianapolis-based MacAllister Machinery Co. MacAllister’s father founded the company in 1945 and P.E. joined the family business after having served the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII.
MacAllister took over the company in 1950 and was officially named president in 1954. He held the title of chairman of the board of MacAllister Machinery Company until April 2009.
“From a business perspective, MacAllister Machinery’s involvement and leadership with the Indiana Chamber dates back to 1943. The company is a true family business success story, with P.E. leading the way for so many years – both while active day today and in his continuing role as chairman in recent years,” added Brinegar.
MacAllister spent several years as president of the Indianapolis Capital Improvement Board. He was a longtime president of the Indianapolis Opera and chaired the Fine Arts Society of Indianapolis.
According to a biography from the Indiana University Tobias Leadership Center, MacAllister served as campaign treasurer for Richard Lugar’s two mayoral elections, and as campaign chair for William Hudnut’s mayoral elections and his campaign for Congress.
In April 2009, the Indiana Historical Society honored MacAllister as an Indiana Living Legend.
In 2014, P.E. was awarded the state’s highest honor, the Sachem Award. He has also received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award three times.
One of those was presented by then-Governor Mike Pence.
“P.E. MacAllister was a titanic figure in Indiana Republican politics and was one of my first political supporters and a lifelong friend and mentor,” said Vice President Pence. “He wasn’t just a mentor to me but was a mentor to an entire generation of great conservative leaders. P.E.’s true memorial is a strong and vibrant city of Indianapolis. Karen and I are praying for his family. He will be deeply missed.”
The funeral service will take place Sunday at the company’s Indianapolis headquarters.
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