Breaking News
More () »

Tom Trout, the man with the signs from above, dies at 95

Tom Trout put inspirational messages up on his business's sign above I-95 since 1983.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Tom Trout is a name you'd recognize if you've ever spent any time driving I-95 through Jacksonville. 

Trout died February 9. He was 95 years old. 

The sign that sits above the offices for the construction company he started at Bowden and 95 has been getting drivers' attention since 1983. 

In an age where influencers and neighbors are constantly posting inspirational quotes, memes and GIFs to get attention on social media... Trout was catching eyes and making people think long before the ubiquity of computers in everyone's home. 

"Maybe it's changing somebody's life for the better," Trout told First Coast News' Lewis Turner in an interview about the sign back in 2012. 

Trout had received hundreds of letters, boxes full of them, from people who drove by the sign over the years. They were all from people thanking him for the moments of levity, wit and care when traffic was a stressor. 

"I love this town and I love people," he said. "And I'd love to be able to have some little effect on where they head in life." 

According to his obituary, which you can read here, he was married to his wife Joan for 67 years.

Together they had three children, 10 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. 

 His son and grandson, Tom Trout III and Tom Trout IV say they intend to keep the inspirational messages going on their sign. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out