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THEODORE ROLF MUELLER

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THEODORE ROLF MUELLER, 85, passed away on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, surrounded by family. Born Dec. 14, 1928, in Fort Wayne, he was a son of Lela and Rudolph Mueller. Ted was proud of the numerous jobs he held in high school and college that provided much-needed income for his family. Soon after graduating from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Ind., he began teaching high school in Houston, Texas. It was there that he met his future wife, Bernice Wehmeyer. They were married on Nov. 24, 1951. Plans to pursue his doctoral degree were put on hold when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1953. He served a brief stint in Kaiserslautern, West Germany, where he was joined by Bernice and sons, Rudy and Michael. After leaving active duty, he attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence. He received his PhD in 1963, although he had already begun working in Oak Ridge in the summer of 1961. He worked in the Analytical Chemistry Division for Union Carbide at two of the government facilities in Oak Ridge: X-10 and Y-12. During his tenure there, he was awarded U.S. patents for four inventions, one of which he developed with a co-worker. When not working on projects for his job at home, he always enjoyed playing games with his family. He loved most every board game or card game, but his favorite game seemed to be pinochle. There was apparently nothing that he couldn't build, fix, or refurbish. He built a 12" television from a kit; he did all the plumbing and electrical repairs around the house; he fixed appliances; he could make minor repairs to the family cars; and on and on. He enjoyed playing the piano and organ, and he was an avid photographer. After retiring in 1989, Ted enjoyed traveling to Europe, as well as Indiana, Illinois, Texas, and South Carolina, mostly to spend time with his children and his grandchildren. From 1981 to 1985, Ted and Bernice lived in Vienna, Austria, where he was employed by the International Atomic Energy Agency. From the number and variety of postcards his children received, it appeared that his job was to travel Europe and attend one or two-day meetings, usually crammed into one or two-week itineraries. Besides working tirelessly at his job and spending time with his family, Ted was very active in the churches he belonged to, Faith Lutheran in Oak Ridge, and Peace Lutheran in Knoxville. He also served as a substitute organist at many churches in the area. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Bernice;, three sons, Rudy (Nancy) of Indianapolis, Jon (Rita) of Illinois and Tim (Anne) of Columbia, S.C.; seven grandchildren, Ted (Kate) of Charlotte, N.C., Kristin of Indianapolis, Kelly, Lisa, and Ryan Mueller, all of Illinois, Laura and Daniel Mueller, both of Columbia, S.C.; and two great-grandchildren, Charlotte and Noah. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Beverly; and a son, Michael. Memorial service is 2 p.m. Monday, June 9, 2014, at Peace Lutheran Church, Knoxville, Tenn. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Peace Lutheran Church, 621 N. Cedar Bluff Road, Knoxville, Tenn. or the , SC Chapter, 4124 Clemson Blvd., Ste L, Anderson, SC 29621. Memories and condolences may be shared at ShivesFuneralHome.com
Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on June 6, 2014
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