Love’s travel stops and country stores
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The founder of an Oklahoma-based convenience store chain has died at the age of 85.
On Tuesday, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores confirmed that Tom Love, the company’s founder, has passed away.
“Tom Love was a man of conviction who never wavered from the principles of honesty and integrity in the 59 years he spent developing the company he started with his wife, Judy,” said Shane Wharton, president of Love’s. “These principles still guide our company and will move forward. Tom always listened and was genuinely interested in knowing the stories of employees and customers. He wanted to hear their thoughts, ideas and hopes for them, their families and the company. He credited the company’s success to the people who worked for us. He could relate to all the employees, but he had a soft spot for those on the front lines in the stores. In many ways, he was an ordinary person who built an extraordinary business together with his wife Judy and his family, whom he loved dearly.”
Love is survived by his wife of 62 years, Judy, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved husband, father and grandfather,” said the Love Family. “He loved people and it was evident in the way he led our family, ran the business he started in 1964 and gave back to our community and to organizations across the country that serve others. He was always committed to helping others succeed and opening the door for leaders, including his children and grandchildren, and we look forward to building on his legacy. While the grief we feel is immeasurable, we celebrate his life and will continue his legacy of living a life filled with integrity, honesty and faith.”
In 1964, Tom and Judy Love used $5,000 to rent an abandoned service station in Watonga. From there, they opened 40 stores in eight years in western Oklahoma.
Tom Love wanted to create a new concept of combining convenience stores with a self-service gas station.
In 1972, the original country store opened in Guymon and became the first in the country to combine self-service gasoline and grocery items.
In October 2022, Love’s opened its 600th location.
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