Just found out that Gene passed away on Wed. Love him or hate him, he did the pinball hobby a massive solid with the BBB release.
I miss seeing Gene at shows with a few tables full of NOS Williams/Ballys goodies from back about 10-15 years ago or so, when I was building my 90's W/B collection and restoring everything as I went. We all knew he had tons of desirable NOS stuff tucked away in storage that he probably long forgot about, or might not of even known he had, so it was always exciting to see him at a show and wonder if he had that NOS W/B grail part you were looking for.
May he rest in peace, and sincere condolences to the family and friends.
Aw.. sad to see. His interviews were fascinating, and he really moved mountains and proved remaking games was a possible, desirable and (with proper logistics) profitable.
Dad gone, this guy was a true Legend. He got those machines
out by sheer will from what I understand. The Great Arcade is a little farther along.
So sad to read this. He was a gentleman and a pioneer in the world of pinball and will be truly missed. Condolences go out to Georgianna and the rest of the family.
John and SuAnn Dayhuff
RIP Gene. He was always willing to sit and tell stories at shows. Definite asset to the hobby.
Rip gene. So glad to have met and spent a full day with the man and see the wonder and love for pinball through his eyes.
I remember the first time I met him at one of the early Pinball Fantasy shows in Vegas.
We both had a great appreciation for those Bally Christensen pins.
I remember going to one of his pinball auctions in the early 2000s in Bloomington Ill.
One of the true pinball pioneers.
I am so sorry to hear of this. Gene was always very good to me and he did a lot to keep this hobby moving forward. Prayers to Gene's family. I hope they can find piece in this situation.
Sorry to hear .I still remember and appreciate when IPB was one of only a couple resources keeping the parts market and in turn hobby alive in the dark days. RIP Gene.
He had a true passion for the hobby. Got to eat lunch with him and spend some time with him years ago. IPB was really starting to produce some parts after years of nothing and I truly believe he was losing money on a lot of what he was selling. You will always be remembered. RIP Gene Cunningham.
Always interesting talking with Gene at shows. Miss that a lot.
He took the time to give my son and me a lengthy tour of his collection when picking up some rare parts in Bloomington.
I met Gene and his lovely wife at the Rochester Pinball Show way back. I brought my previous Big Bang Bar machine (#34) at the time to be used in the tournament (and so that others could have a chance to play it).
His words to me before knowing it was my game was, “Who the hell would bring their game to a show? Are they nuts”??
I raised my hand and said, “Me!” Then I asked him to sign my translite. Haha!!!!
He was very nice to me and kind.
RIP Gene and condolences to the family.
RIP Gene and condolences to your family. You were a pioneer of pinball and a true shooting star. You made a difference in this world and will be missed.
Gene was a rich eccentric who was throwing away his life savings into attempting to resurrect pinball long before it was the cool thing to do.
Much love rip gene
I'll always remember the one show I was talking his ear off at a show.
Very cool guy with tons of knowledge and we will miss you
What a super guy. Very sad to hear he is gone. I met him at the Kalamazoo MI "Pin at the Zoo" show several years ago where he and his wife both signed my copy of "Mad Dog and his Art". They were both patient in answering all my questions, and spent a good deal of time simply chatting. He will be missed.
I think Gene is the reason pinball is so healthy now. No BBBs from him, no CGC,no Stern LEs, he showed people what was possible. He left the pinball world a better place. Thanks Gene.
11 - TOPcast pinball show #11
TOPcast - This Old Pinball radio talk show TOP Cast
Published: Tue, 06 Mar 2007 11:30:00 -0500
Norm & Shaggy TOPcast pinball show #11 with Gene Cunningham (Illinois Pinball). Gene talks about buying Williams/Bally parts assets and remaking Capcom Big Bang Bar.
We lost another legacy, legend, pioneer,.
Guys like Gene are why we are still here.
Here's to playing and remembering the ones that make it so we can still play.
Pinball is fun, Thanks Gene for making it that way.
Im sure he will make the arcade in the Heavens the best place to play!
Prayers and condolences for family and friends. I met him once at a Rochester show, a man with pinball passion in his blood. So sorry to hear. Rest in peace Gene
Rest in peace Gene knowing your legendary place in the pinball world will never be surpassed.
I first met and spoke with Gene, if memory serves me correctly, at Allentown back when it was held at the vendor market. I was newer to the hobby then, and he took time to converse with me and give me some of his opinions.
I gained so much in that 15-minute chat with him, later I learned more about his legacy in the hobby.
Tis' sad news indeed - it's the passing of one of pinball's unique individuals. RIP.
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