WALCOTT, Iowa — The trucking industry has lost one of its long-time matriarchs.
Carolyn Moon, the co-owner and former chairman of the board at Iowa 80 Truckstop has died.
Mrs. Moon, 81, of Davenport, Iowa, passed away May 4. Her funeral services were held May 7 at the Calvary United Methodist Church here.
After graduating from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Mrs. Moon worked at the Boeing Co. in Wichita, Kansas, as an engineering programmer, the only woman in the engineering department.
In Wichita, she married the late William ¨Bill¨ Moon, who worked at Standard Oil at the time.
They moved to Kansas City to start a family and Mrs. Moon became a homemaker.
While working for Standard Oil, in 1964 Mr. Moon helped his employer locate land for and open the Iowa 80 Truckstop in Walcott.
Iowa 80 Truckstop began serving truckers out of a small white enamel building in 1964 before Interstate 80 was completely built.
A year later, the Moons and their two young children moved to Walcott to manage the new business.
In 1984, Standard Oil (now Amoco) decided to sell the facility.
Mr. Moon, who had been managing the facility for nearly 20 years, and his wife leveraged everything they had, including borrowing money from friends, to purchase what is now Iowa 80 Truckstop.
After a third child, Mrs. Moon returned to work as the CIO and chief computer programmer for Iowa 80. For 50 years, she worked there and at CAT Scale as chairman of the board, and chief information officer until December 2016. She went in to the office regularly until a few months ago.
The Moons built Iowa 80 into the world’s largest truck stop.
Iowa 80 currently serves 5,000 customers a day and has parking spaces for 900 tractor-trailers, 250 cars and 20 buses. Each year in July, the Iowa 80 hosts the Walcott Truckers Jamboree, a three-day event dedicated to celebrating America’s truckers. Last year attendance hit a record 44,000 people.
Mr. Moon died in 1992.
“Bill just loved everything about trucks and trucking,” Mrs. Moon once said. “He loved to sit at the counter in the restaurant and talk to drivers about what would make their life easier if Iowa 80 had it. He truly enjoyed the truck stop business and all of the people he encountered.”
Today, after 28 expansions and remodels, Iowa 80 is overseen by the second generation of the Moon family, and includes the Iowa 80 Kitchen, a 300-seat restaurant; gift store; the Super Truck Showroom; a dentist; a barber shop; a chiropractor; a workout room; laundry facilities; a 60-seat movie theatre; a trucker’s TV lounge; a Verizon store kiosk; 24 private showers; a food court featuring Wendy’s, Dairy Queen, Orange Julius, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Caribou Coffee; a convenience store; a custom embroidery and vinyl shop; 10 gas islands; 16 diesel lanes; a fuel center; a seven-bay truck service center; a three-bay Truckomat truck wash; a CAT Scale; a Dogomat Pet Wash; and the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum.
“It is really amazing to have reached this milestone,” says Delia Moon Meier, the Moons’ daughter and senior vice president of Iowa 80. “We are so fortunate to have such wonderful, dedicated employees and loyal customers. They are such an integral part of our success.”
Mrs. Moon could make anything and loved to craft and sew, her obituary said. She made beautiful clothes, home furnishings, gifts and Halloween costumes for her children. She loved to make and collect doll houses and was local president of the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts. She spent many hours around a table with her fellow association members talking, laughing, and making sofas out of Velveeta boxes. She and Mr. Moon collected antique toys together and loved traveling the country looking for treasures to decorate their businesses. Much of her world class collection can be seen at the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum, which she helped found. Her love of antiquing and crafting also led her to serve as president of the Walnut Grove Questers.
Mrs. Moon is survived by her son, Will (Renee) Moon, daughters Delia (Dave) Meier, Carolyn Jill (Richard Seehuus) Moon, and grandchildren Bill Moon, Ben Moon, Sarah Moon, Nell Meier, Lee Meier, Lana Meier, Alexandra Seehuus, Abby Seehuus, Miriam Maikon, and Sarah Maikon.