James "Jim" Howard Mueller
Age 95 of Oak Park Heights, Minnesota passed away on January 29, 2023.
Jim was born in Burlington, Iowa, son of the late Ned and Hazel (Lindahl) Mueller. He was a resident of the Iron Mountain, Michigan area from the late 1960s to early 2000s.
After graduating high school, he attended Burlington Junior College for a year before entering the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY in the late stages of World War II. After completing four months of basic school he was assigned to the SS Villanova Victory, a 600+ ft. cargo ship and spent time in Okinawa, China, India, Singapore and sailed through the Suez Canal in Egypt, through the Mediterranean, across the Atlantic, and finally to Newark, NJ. Since he had never been further than 200 miles from Burlington, he felt privileged to travel around the world and that 17 month period influenced his thinking and view of the world for the remainder of his life.
Jim graduated from the University of Montana with a Forest Engineering and Management degree and proudly served as Student Government President his senior year.
He also served as a Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade during the Korean War.
His career spanned positions in Oregon, Missouri, Montana, Washington, and concluded in Iron Mountain, Michigan as president of Cleveland Cliffs Forest Products Company.
An early career transfer to Kansas City, MO blessed him with meeting and marrying Shirley (Overman) Mueller. They were married for 49 years and raised their children together with great love and devotion before her untimely passing in 1999. They enjoyed travels in the U.S. and around the world connecting with old friends and meeting new friends along the way.
In 2001, he married Laurel Westrom in Dickinson, ND. They also enjoyed traveling and golf (lots of golf into their 90s) and wintered in Oro Valley, AZ and spent their summers at East Gull Lake, MN. In recent years he enjoyed living at Boutwells Landing senior community in Oak Park Heights, MN.
Jim enjoyed traveling, meeting new people, working hard in his career or on the golf course, spending time with family, and supporting Christian ministries in the United States and abroad.
Jim is best remembered for being an outstanding husband, father, grandpa, great-grandpa, son, brother, uncle, and friend. He was known for his kindness, compassion, generosity, charm, and quick wit. His memory was remarkable and envied by all who heard his stories over the years.
Jim is survived by his wife, Laurel; two children, Daniel (Bonnie) Mueller and Lisa Mueller (Laurie Hamre); son-in-law, Timothy Branam; daughter-in-law, Laureen Mueller; four step-children, Eric Westrom, Jan Westrom (Peter Halls), Kristine Westrom (Ed Coughlin), Amy Westrom; nine grandchildren, Christopher (Tamara) Branam, Janessa (Todd) Hanes, Andrew (Kayla) Branam, Caitlyn (Adam) Grunenwald, Jeffrey (Cassie) Mueller, Brandon (Ashley) Mueller, Benjamin (Jaime) Mueller, Jonathan Mueller, Mark (Sierra) Mueller; and six step-grandchildren, Luke Styles (Danni Liu), Emily Styles (Justin Brokenrope), Ruth Styles (Julia Carlton), Laura Halls (Andrew Budd), Sarah Halls (Joe Swiggum), and Karen Halls. He also leaves 23 (soon to be 25) great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley (Overman) Mueller; daughter, Valerie Branam; son, Peter Mueller; and brother, Jack Mueller.
A visitation will be held at Bradshaw, 2800 Curve Crest Boulevard, Stillwater, MN from 11 am - 1 pm on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, with a Celebration of Life service at 1 pm.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial gift to Presbyterian Homes Foundation (which supports Boutwells Landing senior living community) or a charity of your choice.
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