George Mueller died at Cranford Health and Extended Care Center on Tuesday, December 27, 2016 at the age of 98. He was born on Lehigh Avenue in Roselle Park, NJ to George and Anna Kaup Mueller, and he was educated in local public schools. After his second year at Roselle Park High School, he left to take over his family's ice delivery route when his father needed cataract surgery. That was the end of his formal education, but he was a quick study, and he soon learned how to make and fix all kinds of machines and engines without classroom instruction.
In November of 1939, George met the lovely Charlotte Wilson of Irvington at a local roller skating rink. He immediately fell for her and apparently charmed her: In February 1940, they were married.
By 1943, World War II was raging, and George enlisted in the Army. He left his beloved Charlotte at home and departed for his eventual deployment to the European Theater of Operations. During his training, George qualified as a marksman while simultaneously learning how to repair and refurbish heavy armored vehicles that had been damaged in battle. By the time of his Honorable Discharge in 1946, George had attained the rank of T-4â"Technician 4th Grade"âwhich was reserved for technicians with highly specialized skills. Soldiers holding that rank would have been addressed as "Sergeant." George earned a Good Conduct Medal during his service, and along with his unit, he took home the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. As the repairmen, George and his fellow technicians played an essential role in the Allied victories in the Rhineland and in the fighting in Ardennes which was commonly known as the "Battle of the Bulge." These men performed their critical assignments so efficiently and so heroically in Ardennes that they were later awarded the Grand Ducal National Ordre de la Couronne de Chene, MÃ©daille d'Argent (the Grand Ducal National Order of the Oak Crown, Silver Medal) by the Government of Luxumbourg. George proudly kept the 1947 letter announcing this award among his World War II mementos.
Before the War, George had worked as a tool and die maker at the Elastic Stop Nut Company in Union, NJ. When the War ended and he returned to Irvington where he and Charlotte had made their first home together, his military training and experience had sharpened and deepened his skills even further. He spent the rest of his working life as a skilled machinist and craftsman, employed for the last several decades before retirement at Charles E. Green & Son, Inc. in Newark where he is still remembered and much admired by colleagues.
Once George and Charlotte were able to resume their married life after the War, they purchased the home they came to love on Meadow Street in Roselle. That was the home to which they welcomed their only child George in 1952 ("Georgie," as his doting mother called him). The Muellers became a mainstay of the close-knit neighborhood. Between Charlotte's warmth and domestic skills and George's fix-it skills and generous spirit, they were the go-to family on Meadow Street. George couldâand didâfix anything. A car that wouldn't start, a lawn mower making a noise, a missing boltâwhatever the problem, George was the solution. Ever ready to lend a hand or a wrench (or a saw or whatever was needed), George was always available. The Muellers were the embodiment of "good neighbors." When former neighbors who have moved away think of the best of mid-Twentieth Century life in Roselle, NJ, George and Charlotte Mueller inevitably come to mind.
As they grew older and moved towards retirement, George and Charlotte bought the first in a series of motor homes, and they started to travel far afield from Roselle. After George retired, they would take extended trips, sometimes being gone for weeks at a time. But they could never stand to be away for too longâin 1981, their son George and his wife Jackie had brought Amy Elizabeth into the family, and she quickly became the center of the universe for her doting grandparents. From then on, nothing could compare to spending time with their adoring granddaughter, a close relationship that continued throughout the remainder of their lives.
George loved women, and they loved him. He and Charlotte were fortunate to have celebrated 61 years of marriage when she died in 2001. Having enjoyed marriage so much the first time, he married again after her death. The newlyweds moved from Roselle to South Carolina, but his second wife Ann McVey soon succumbed to cancer, and he found himself widowed again after only a couple of years. He was once again an eligible bachelor, and Carolyn Daniels became his companion for more than a decade. They travelled, they belonged to bowling leagues, they golfedâthey enjoyed life together. When Carolyn eventually grew to need skilled care, she went to live with her family, and George moved back to NJ to live with his beloved granddaughter Amy. Learning of Carolyn's death in 2016 was a blow to George. When he himself needed skilled care shortly thereafter, he moved to Cranford Health and Extended Care.
George loved much and lost much during his long life. In addition to his parents, his first and second wives Charlotte and Ann, and his companion Carolyn, he lost his son George in a motor vehicle accident in 1993. He was also predeceased by his sister Eleanor (Ellie) Mueller Ranglack and his brother Henry (Henny) Mueller. He is survived by his granddaughter Amy Mueller, his daughter-in-law Jackie Dukes Mueller, several nieces and nephews, and a host of former neighbors, friends, and co-workers who will not forget him.
George's Life Celebration will be on Thursday December 28, 2016 from 7:00-9:00PM at Gray Funeral Directors, 12 Springfield Avenue, Cranford, NJ. Burial with military honors will be 10:30AM Friday December 30, 2016 at Fairview Cemetery, Westfield, NJ.