FARMINGTON — Barry Makinen has been around his family’s oil business, F.L. Butler Co. on Franklin Avenue, since he was a child. He’s been delivering oil since he was 21 but decided he will no longer do so.

Barry Makinen, 50, of West Farmington has a lot of memories working in the family business, F.L. Butler Co. in Farmington. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

For 54 years, the Makinen family delivered oil to customers in Franklin County. But due to the effect the COVID-19 pandemic had on the business, as well as the escalating cost of insurance and other factors, the 50-year-old West Farmington resident decided the time was right to step back.

“There are a lot of memories with the family,” he said, that began with his grandfather, Berton Makinen.

Berton was the owner of the company starting in 1967. It passed to Barry’s father, Larry Makinen, but when he passed away in 2019, the company’s ownership transferred to his wife, Sarah. She owns it and also worked as the office manager.

Earning a master oil burner license, Barry started working full-time for the business in 1989, however, both his career and life almost ended prematurely after he was crushed between a car and an oil truck.

While Makinen didn’t specify when the accident happened, it impacted his ability to deliver oil to customers.

“It is hard work,” he said.

The business delivered oil to 240 customers and Makinen is working with Twitchell Fuel Co. in Farmington to take over those clients. He said he’ll continue to do paperwork, clean furnaces and do emergency services out of his home.

He will also keep the name F.L. Butler Co., but admitted he’ll miss going to the office, which is next door to the Farmington Police Department.

“I’m going to miss my people and tending to them,” he said. “I enjoyed the work.”

Makinen can be reached at 207-491-5971.


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