Early truck stop founder Harley Shoemaker passes

Updated May 2, 2016
Shoemaker’s is known for its collection of service station antiques and a mural depicting Route 66.

A pioneer of the American truck stop industry has passed.

Harley Shoemaker, 88, died Friday, April 28. He was co-founder and owner of Shoemakers Truck Stations.

His complete obituary:

Harley is survived by his wife Lou Ann (Engler) Shoemaker; children, Dave and Karen (Gettert) Shoemaker, Philip Shoemaker, Laurel Shoemaker, Dan Shoemaker, Greg and Angie (Pavlicek) Shoemaker, Laurie (Engler) and John Somers, Greg and Monica (Palacio) Engler, Michele (Engler) and Jeff Warren, Melinda (Engler) and Todd Harshbarger; grandchildren, Ryan and Megan (Ferguson) Shoemaker, Raina Shoemaker, Nick, Alex and Hayden Shoemaker, Robert and Michael Somers, Ashley and Isabella Engler, Josie and Kellie Warren, Britton and Bailey Harsbarger, and great grand child, Harley Shoemaker. Brothers Roger (Sue) and family, Don (Yvonne) and family. He was preceded in death by his first wife Marion (McGinn) Shoemaker; brother and sister-in-law Howard and Alma Williams; parents, Harley Claire and Ruth (Garden) Shoemaker.

Services are at 11 a.m. Monday May 2, at St. Marks United Methodist Church with Pastor Wayne Alloway officiating. In lieu of flowers memorial may be made to the Food Bank of Lincoln or the People’s City Mission.

Harley was a pioneer in the modern truck stop industry. In 1951, he and his father and brothers opened one of the first truck stops in Montalvo, California on Highway. 101. They later opened another on Route 66 in Gallup, New Mexico.

Harley Shoemaker

When the national interstate system was built and changed the way America traveled, Harley moved his family and business to Lincoln Nebraska, where they built a successful family-owned and operated truck stop. Shoemaker’s Truck Stop is known throughout the United States as a trusted business and a safe haven for travelers. It is also famous for its outstanding collection of gas station memorabilia, and the mural of sights along Route 66. Harley began collecting and restoring antique gas pumps in the early 1980s and his interest and knowledge about the truck stop history and the tools used in it led to the accumulation of artifacts that draws the admiration of kids and adults alike. One of his greatest joys was to talk with customers and friends about the stories behind each item on display.

As a businessman, Harley touched many lives and helped many people. He could strike up a conversation with anyone anywhere and walk away with a new friend. He was hardworking, intelligent, and kind, and he lived each day willing to be delighted by what life had to offer. He was a good man and he will be deeply missed.