For three generations, one Wapakoneta family has been clocking in at the same company.
It started with 73-year-old Wayne Quellhorst, who was working at a local gasoline station when he struck up a conversation with the man unloading a tanker.
“I asked him how he got a good job like that,” said Quellhorst, who a week later was on the road driving with a supervisor learning the ropes himself.
He worked for Marathon Oil, out of Lima, for 30 years as a transport driver before retiring in 1999.
He said he’s been proud to see the legacy continue with first his son, Tony Quellhorst, who followed in his father’s footsteps as a transport driver for the company for the past 30 years, and now Wayne’s granddaughter, Jessica Quellhorst, who landed a job as an accountant at a Marathon refinery in Texas City, Texas, after interning in Lima during college.
Wayne Quellhorst said before he started the job, his supervisors talked to his wife about the hours, and once she gave her approval, he completed a physical and began training the next day.
“There was no thinking about it,” Wayne Quellhorst said. “I was home every night.”
Another perk — because of the schedule, every three weeks, he would get a five-day break.
“What I really liked is everyone was equal with shifts,” Wayne Quellhorst said.
Some of that has changed now as the company runs seven-days-a-week, but Wayne Quellhorst said he’d still recommend it to anyone.
“It’s the best job I ever had,” said Wayne Quellhorst, who after retirement drove a school bus for 15 years and continues to deliver part-time for Midwest Logistics Systems, in Celina.
He said he never expected his son, let alone his granddaughter, to follow in his footsteps, but he knew they wouldn’t be sorry, and the company hasn’t been either, with supervisors passing along compliments about the two through the years.
His advice to them has always been to put their best foot forward.
“It’s a good company, a good place to work,” Wayne Quellhorst said. “I was 60 when I retired and in 30 years of hauling gasoline, I never had any trouble.”
Between Wayne and his son, Tony, 53, the two have logged more than 6 million safe driving miles with no accidents, spills or blends.
“Through my dad I saw what kind of company it was and it had good benefits and pay,” said Tony Quellhorst, whose job has him delivering fuel to Speedway and Marathon gasoline stations within a 60-mile radius of Lima.
Like his daughter, Tony Quellhorst started working for Marathon through a summer internship during college. After he graduated, a position opened up on a truck and he’s been driving ever since.
“Marathon has really put a lot into its internship program,” Tony Quellhorst said of a job that teaches young adults a variety of skills needed in the company with jobs available in a variety of fields in many different locations.
Jessica Quellhorst, 25, has gotten to experience just how useful an internship with the company can be as a way not only to make good money during summer months off school, but to gain well-rounded experience.
After graduating from Miami University and The Ohio State University with her master’s degree in accounting, Jessica Quellhorst first went to work for the Marathon office in Findlay, before moving to Texas to work for Marathon there.
“A major part of it was that both my dad and my grandpa worked at Marathon,” said Jessica Quellhorst, who has been in Texas for a little more than a year.
The internship was also beneficial in helping Jessica decide what she wanted to do after college.
While she did some accounting and financial work during the summer, she also performed a wide array of odds and ends jobs. Whether those be pulling samples, cutting the grass, welding pumps, or pipeline paperwork, the hands-on experiences taught her a lot about the company and how it worked.
“They went beyond the call of duty making me feel welcome and helping me out,” Jessica Quellhorst said. “Most of college I knew I wanted to be an accountant so it kind of fell together.”
While she enjoyed working so close to home right out of college, Jessica Quellhorst said the company has a good approach to balancing work with personal lives which has been a huge deal to her, and making Texas seem not quite so far away.
Jessica Quellhorst plans to stay in Texas for a while, but its also nice to know she always has the opportunity to come home to Ohio as well.
“It’s nice to carry on the Marathon legacy,” Jessica Quellhorst said. “It’s nice to see I can use my degree at a company where my father and grandfather worked and to know how well it takes care of its employees, both when they are working and when they retire.”