Beverly Ann (Emerick) Mueller (1943 - 2017)

Obituary
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  • "Ernie, So sorry to hear about Bev. Hope you are well. ..."
  • "Ernie I am so sorry to hear about Bev. She was such an..."
    - Janet Forbes
  • "Please accept my deepest condolences for your loss. When I..."
    - Kelley Roper-Tison
  • "I remember the warm, caring, and welcoming way Bev had that..."
    - Michelle Brown
  • "I was sorry to hear of Bev's passing. I will always..."
    - Dick Farnell
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Beverly Ann Mueller passed away the evening of Wednesday February 22, 2017. She suffered from interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, a rare, incurable, progressive disease which took her father fifteen years earlier.
Bev was born February 9, 1943 in Detroit, Michigan to Hubert and Phyllis Emerick. Phyllis left when Bev was only two; Hubert divorced her the same year. Hubert met and wooed Lila Rollstone, a Pharmacist's Mate in the U.S. Coast Guard. They married December 1945.
After the war the family moved to Dearborn where Bev attended schools, graduating from Fordson High School in 1961. Pictures of Beverly as a young girl and teenager reveal her emerging flare for fashion, poise and drama. They also show her #1 asset, a bright and engaging smile.
Bev attended the Art School of the Society of Arts and Crafts in Detroit. She left without completing, remaining in Detroit where she worked as a women's wear buyer for Hudson's Department Store.
In 1970 on a New York City buying trip she met Chipper Parr of Fairbanks. He returned with her to Detroit; from there they hit the road to Alaska. They sold the car in Los Angeles and hitchhiked to Prince Rupert, along the way getting married in Nevada. They took the Alaska Ferry to Haines and from there hitchhiked to Fairbanks.
In Fairbanks they both worked and saved their money to buy a motorcycle. They shipped the bike to Detroit, flew there and then headed straight south and across the country; Bev rode on the back all the way to Fairbanks. There was no work, so they moved to Juneau. They divorced a few years later.
When Bev moved to Juneau she hit the ground running. Right away she connected with the Little Theater and wrote, directed and acted in plays. Her favorite was children's theater; she wrote or directed plays based on the stories of Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk the Princess and the Pea and Cinderella.
Bev directed, with Van Hamilton, dinner theater at the Baranof to benefit the scholarship programs of the American Association of University Women. In 1982 Bev was honored by the AAUW Educational Foundation for her fundraising.
Bev had connections everywhere, including with a Seattle concert promotor. She brought Harry Chapin, Leo Kottke, Rita Coolidge and other performers to Juneau, filling the JDHS auditorium and Centennial Hall to raise funds for community organizations.
In the mid-1980s she organized a gala winter party at the airport to support the Friends of the Alaska State Museum. The "Great Airport Escape" started after the last outbound flight left and ran to the wee hours of the morning with charitable gambling, Pacific Island dancers, a band, performers, dancing and paper airplane competitions.
One of Bev's great loves was sailing. She organized races, cruises, and parties and crewed. In honor of the 25th anniversary of Alaska's Statehood she organized the Spirit of Adventure around Admiralty Sailing Race; it is now a Juneau tradition, held every two years.
Sailing was where Bev met her future husband, Ernie Mueller. In August 1978 Al Eagle signed up for a musical gig at the Haines Fair and came to Ernie to see if he wanted to sail his boat to Haines for the Fair. When asked "who else is going to crew?" Al said "Bev, I think she likes you." By the time they returned to Juneau, Ernie Mueller was no longer one of the most eligible bachelors in Juneau. They were married December 16 of that year.
In July 1985, she told Ernie that she wanted to undergo alcohol and drug abuse treatment. She entered an outpatient treatment program in Juneau, joining a treatment group that became family. She embraced recovery, changing her life. Brian Kelley, the Administrator at Lakeside-Milam Juneau, hired her as secretary. Thus began a journey that lasted until her death.
Bev studied and interned in counseling and became a State and nationally certified substance abuse and behavioral health counselor. She worked for Lakeside-Milam Recovery Center, Northstar Hospital, Tongass Community Counseling Center, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and Rainforest Recovery Center. She loved her clients and did her best to help them find their way to recovery. She shared with them her journey, setting the example for theirs.
In 2004 she was named the Outstanding Direct Service Professional in the field of Alcohol & Drug Abuse by the Alaska Alliance for Direct Service Careers. In 2012 she was awarded the highest recognition for an Alaska alcohol and drug abuse counselor, the Alaska Addiction Professionals Association's Ernie Turner Award as Outstanding Counselor.
In her long service to the community of Juneau, Bev served on the Boards of Directors of the Gastineau Humane Society, Friends of the Alaska State Museum, Juneau Douglas Little Theater, Juneau Cruising Club, Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, Gastineau Human Services, Mothers against Drunk Driving of Juneau, Juneau chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness and the Juneau Centennial Committee. At the time of her death she was a member of the board of Juneau Crime Stoppers.
Bev always wanted children; failing that she wanted grandchildren. In March 2002 she and Ernie adopted Rebecca Easton, whose parents had passed some years before. Rebecca and Dan's two boys became their grandsons. Bev loved her grandchildren and traveled with them to Gustavus, Hawaii, San Diego and Las Vegas.
Bev loved travel and it often turned into an adventure. Bev and Ernie and her parents were in San Francisco for the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. When the earthquake was over, the only sound was the barking of sea lions at Fisherman's Wharf and the wail of sirens.
Bev and Ernie visited Mexico several times, including a trip with her parents to San Miguel de Allende in a Minnie-Winnie. They all got Montezuma's revenge, not a pretty sight in a tiny camper.
After Ernie's retirement, they worked on their bucket list, including summers in Gustavus. In 2012 they took a two week cruise from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego through the Panama Canal. In 2014 they took a two week cruise around the tip of South America from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Valparaiso, Chile.
Bev loved Hawaii and especially Kauai. There she could bask in the sun, go shopping and get a heavenly massage. Bev and Ernie were often accompanied by their friends Hal and Leslie Daugherty. Hal was the king of the barbecue and Leslie made fabulous salads.
She is survived by her adoring and loving husband, Ernie; their daughter Rebecca Easton and son-in law Dan and their two sons Joel and Zach, all of Juneau; her brother-in-law Jerry Mueller and his wife Marilyn of Spokane, Washington and their daughter Lorelei Sater of California; her sister-in-law Gretchen Ray of Fairbanks and her six children, and grandchildren and great-grandchildren spread all over the western US; and her dogs Oscar and Jack. She was predeceased by her parents Hubert and Lila Emerick of Traverse City, Michigan; her nephew Mike Mueller of Wenatchee, Washington; her dogs Bowser, Odie, Amos, Lulu, Beezly, Scruffy, Sammy, Molly, Doogan, Cedar and Konya and cats Snuggles, Monkey, Su Ching and Nikita.
Her wishes were to be cremated and her ashes spread along the Oliver Inlet tram trail. Donations in her honor are to be made to the Gastineau Humane Society, 7705 Glacier Highway Juneau, Alaska 99801.
The family may be reached at 3990 Glacier Highway Juneau, Alaska 99801 or at (907) 209-4618.
A celebration of Bev's life will be held at the Juneau Yacht Club, Saturday May 13, 2017 at 2:00 P.M. All who knew Bev or were touched by her extraordinary life are welcome.
Published in The Juneau Empire from Apr. 2 to May 1, 2017