Daniel Trimper IV, a developer who was a great-grandson of the founder of what is now Trimper Rides in Ocean City, died Aug. 20 of kidney failure at his Ocean City home. He was 84.
“Dan was just a good fellow, a regular guy and a smart businessman,” said Roland E. “Fish” Powell, who was mayor of Ocean City from 1985 to 1996. “He was outgoing, and I got along fine with him.”
Daniel Trimper IV, the son of Daniel Trimper III, president of Trimper Rides, and Carol Bradley, a homemaker, was born at his paternal grandparents’ Ocean City home.
His great-grandfather, Daniel Trimper, a Baltimore saloonkeeper, moved with his family to Ocean City in 1890, and three years later purchased a large property on the southern end of the boardwalk that included two of the resort’s three hotels, the Eastern Shore and Sea Bright.
After a hurricane destroyed the Sea Bright, his great-grandfather replaced it with a new hotel that was modeled on England’s Windsor Castle. The entire complex was named Windsor Resorts, which eventually became Trimper’s Amusement Park, and today is Trimper’s Rides.
In 1912, his great-grandfather purchased a carousel from Herschell-Spillman of North Towanda, N.Y., one of the oldest still in operation in the nation.
“When he was a teenager, he worked on the rides,” said daughter Tracy Trimper Exarhakis of Annapolis.
“He said one his earliest memories as a little boy was watching his grandparents and their children as they sat around a large dining room table in the morning, counting and rolling the nickels and dimes from the previous evening’s rides ,” Ms. Exarhakis said.
After graduating in 1951 from St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, Del., he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1955 from Duke University, where he met and fell in love with his future wife, Janet Anne Halyburton.
“He was married in the Duke Chapel the day after he graduated from college,” said Ms. Exarhakis.
Mr. Trimper worked in Baltimore and Easton selling insurance before returning to Ocean City in 1960, when he and a partner, John S. Whaley, established Caliban Corp., a real estate brokerage and development firm.
In 1964, the two partners built and sold the first condominiums in Ocean City, family members said.
In the 1970s, Mr. Trimper, who founded Trimper Real Estate, developed Shantytown Village, a waterfront shopping center and marina adjacent to U.S. 50 in West Ocean City that was a landmark for more than 30 years.
Demolished in 2004, it was replaced with a gated community of townhouses and single-family residences. He was also the developer of a residential community on Piney Island in Assawoman Bay.
Mr. Trimper was semiretired at his death, his daughter said.
Like his grandfather, who was a four-term Ocean City mayor and Worcester County commissioner, Mr. Trimper was active in politics, and served from 1965 to 1972 as a member of the resort town’s City Council, including four years as president.
“We served two years together on the council,” Mr. Powell recalled.
In the mid-1960s, Mr. Trimper earned his private pilot’s license and enjoyed flying his two Cessna airplanes. He also liked to fish, play tennis, ski and play the piano.
He also enjoyed vacationing at homes he owned in Park City, Utah, Palm Desert, Calif., Kennebunkport, Maine, and Stuart, Fla.
Mr. Trimper was a longtime communicant of St. Paul-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Ocean City.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Sept. 23 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 3 Church Street, Berlin.
In addition to his wife of 62 years and daughter, Mr. Trimper is survived by three sisters, Amanda Savage Mahoney and Frederica Savage Shaw, both of Glyndon, and Letitia Trimper Hurst of Vero Beach, Fla.; and three grandchildren. Another daughter, Susan Trimper Landis, died in 1998.