A LIFE OF SERVICE AND KINDNESS
Throughout his nearly six decades of leading the company, Tom was adamant about serving others and putting people first. His vision for establishing a nationwide network of "Clean Places, Friendly Faces" became a company-wide motto that embodies his customer-first approach. His passion for serving others also resonated in his personal life and friendships.
"Tom was a dear friend who I often turned to for advice," said former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating. "He was a visionary, innovator, inspirational leader and compassionate person. Tom was a quintessential entrepreneur long before entrepreneurialism was ever in vogue. He loved his country, having served in the Marine Corps. He loved his hometown of Oklahoma City, where he headquartered his business.
"Tom loved his state and responded with alacrity and superb skill when he accepted my appointment as chairman of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission. He was devoted to his dear wife, Judy, their four wonderful children, and many grand and great-grandchildren. He was committed to his faith, and he gave generously, but often quietly, to support education, medical and other significant initiatives. Cathy and I are heartbroken at his loss, but we are encouraged to know Tom's legacy will live on through his family, company and countless kind deeds," Keating added.
Friend and former Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Turpin stated that Tom "represented the finest of our Oklahoma values of humility, honesty, compassion and service" and "always showed an abundance of goodness and kindness."
Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby reflected on attributes that led to Tom being inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame.
"With deep sadness, we acknowledge the passing of a distinguished Chickasaw Nation citizen, Tom Love," Anoatubby said. "In 2019, it was my great privilege on behalf of the Nation to induct Tom into our Hall of Fame, the highest honor we can bestow upon one of our citizens. The induction recognized Tom's immeasurable contributions to the advancement and betterment of the Chickasaw Nation. Tom embodied the values we cherish — honesty, trust, respect and service. He was generous with his time and resources. We enjoyed and cherished his friendship. We will surely miss him. As a Nation, we extend our condolences to Judy and the family. You will be in our hearts and prayers."
Tom's enthusiasm for sports led to Love's entering a partnership with the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder. The Love's logo is displayed prominently on the front left shoulder of Thunder jerseys. The logo was also front and center with NASCAR Cup Series team Front Row Motorsports when Michael McDowell drove the Love's-sponsored car into Victory Lane at the Daytona 500 in 2021.
His passion for service and helping those in his community led to the Love family donating to local and national organizations such as Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, United Way, Catholic Charities, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma (OU). In 2018, OU opened the Tom Love Innovation Hub to provide a space for future entrepreneurs and other workforce development programs.
The university also recently broke ground on Love's Field, future home of the six-time national champion Sooner softball team. Finally, Tom's legacy will carry on at the Love Family Women's Center on the campus of Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City and Science Museum Oklahoma's new planetarium that will be named Love's Planetarium.
Tom's many honors include Corporation of the Year in 1991 and the 1996 President's Award for Service to God and Country. He was selected as Oklahoma's Most Admired CEO in 2010 and receive a Trust Guardian Transportation Award in 2014. A Chickasaw citizen, Tom was inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame in 2019 and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2000.
Founded in 1964 and headquartered in Oklahoma City, Love's Travel Stops has a network of 600 locations in 42 states, along with 430 truck service centers under the Speedco and Love's Truck Care names.