NATSO, Truckstop Industry Mourn Carolyn Moon

NATSO today expressed its deepest sympathies and condolences following the passing of industry leader Carolyn Moon, who died this morning.

NATSO today expressed its deepest sympathies and condolences following the passing of industry leader Carolyn Moon, who died this morning.

Carolyn, along with her husband Bill, co-founded Iowa 80 Truckstop, one of the premier travel plazas in the nation, and in doing so helped establish the industry standard that continues to serve as the underpinning of the truckstop and travel plaza community today.

"The entire NATSO family is saddened to hear of Carolyn's passing. She was one of the first NATSO members I met when I joined the staff, and her easygoing warmth and kindness made me feel like we had known each other for years," said Lisa Mullings, president and CEO of NATSO. "She had many professional accomplishments as a missile scientist who broke a glass ceiling and, of course, as a leader in the truckstop and travel plaza industry. However, I will always admire how she achieved her success—with strength and optimism--and how she welcomed success--with humility."

After graduating from Southwest Missouri State University with a degree in mathematics, Carolyn Moon was recruited by Lockheed Missile in California for advanced training in designing missiles. She went on to break the glass ceiling at Boeing Aircraft in Wichita, Kan., as the first woman to enter the engineering and programming department.

She continued to make her mark on the nation by revolutionizing the truckstop industry with innovative advancements. Her mathematical mind and programming skills, once used to design missiles and aircraft, helped to turn a simple road side gas station into a multimillion dollar business.

Carolyn and her husband Bill started their truckstop career in 1965, when the couple leased Iowa 80 Truckstop in Walcott, Iowa, from Standard Oil. In 1984, Carolyn and Bill cashed in their savings and retirement funds and borrowed money from friends to purchase their first location — which has grown into the world’s largest truckstop.

The Moons founded Truckomatic truck washes, a truck wash chain located throughout the Midwest. The couple in 1977 introduced the first totally automated, full length platform scale, known as CAT Scale, that allowed truck drivers to quickly and accurately weigh their entire truck and trailer unit simultaneously. Upon Bill’s passing, Carolyn and the Moon family also opened the Trucking Hall of Fame in tribute to him. The trucking museum showcases Bill’s personal collection of more than 100 trucks and trailers.

Carolyn also generously donated both time and money to NATSO and the NATSO Foundation, including chairing the Public Awareness Committee and serving as a member of the Long Range Planning and the Government Affairs Committees.

The Moon Family also helped endow the NATSO Foundation scholarship program, which awards a number of $5,000 scholarships each year to deserving travel plaza employees and their dependents. 

In 2002, Carolyn Moon was awarded NATSO's Distinguished Member Award for exemplifying the principles by which NATSO members strive to lead their daily business practices and lives. The award recognizes an individual resonating integrity, character, charitable, political and community benevolence and service to the truckstop and travel plaza community.

Funeral Arrangements

Funeral services for Carolyn Moon will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 7 at the Calvary United Methodist Church in Walcott, Iowa. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 6 at the Runge Mortuary.

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