George Donald Mueller
George Donald Mueller, longtime Lewistown resident, historian, rattlesnake hunter, paleontologist, curmudgeon, friend, beloved uncle and philanthropist, died at age 94 on Oct. 15.
The son of Oscar and Josephine Mueller, George was born in Lewistown on Nov. 4, 1921. His childhood was spent playing on Little Casino Creek and enjoying family picnics on summer afternoons in the Snowies, Judiths and Little Belts. He graduated from Fergus County High School in 1939, spent two years at Montana State College, where he become a dedicated Bobcat, and then joined the Army and served in World War II.
After returning to finish college, he began his career with the U.S. Weather Service in Meacham, Oregon and later in Great Falls. Throughout his life, most of his letters and conversations began with “this is the driest year on record since 1919...” If encouraged, and often when not, he would spout unfailingly accurate historical weather statistics for various locations around the state. On retirement, he moved to the family home on West Watson Street in Lewistown, back to the house and the town he has always loved.
Besides meteorology, George’s main interest was local and state history. He was active in the Central Montana Historical Association, the Sons and Daughters of the Montana Pioneers and was a member of the Montana Historical Society. He wrote many articles on local history for the Lewistown News Argus and was published in the Montana Magazine of Western History. George always shared his historical knowledge with other historians and any other audience he could muster.
George had a marvelous sense of humor. He loved to tell jokes, often dozens of times. Occasionally, he wouldn’t make it to the punchline before dissolving into giggles, which always provoked more enjoyment than the joke itself would have done. He was an ardent supporter of Lewistown. He was a member of the Masons, the Shrine, the Lewistown Rotary Club and the Outlook Club. He served as Sergeant of Arms for the Lewistown Rotary Club for many years, and eventually enjoyed the status of being its oldest member. He generously supported many local organizations, including the Lewistown Library (through the Oscar and Josephine Mueller Endowment), the Central Montana Medical Center, and the Lewistown Boys and Girls Club.
George had many friends. For many years, he spent holidays with Paul and Eunice Nelson and their extended family. In his later years, he was “adopted” by Jason and Marci Butcher and their extended family.
Although understandably reluctant to leave his home and the independence it afforded him, George moved to the Caslen Living Center three years ago, where he found another true home. The staff and residents welcomed him, fed him, and provided him with a fresh audience for all his jokes and stories. Thanks to the love and care he received, his years at Caslen were unexpectedly happy and fulfilling ones before he ultimately died of complications from prostate cancer.
The family would also like to thank the Fergus County Council on Aging, the staff of Home Health/ Hospice of Central Montana, the Central Montana Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and others throughout the community who supported George, particularly in his later years.
George was preceded in death by his parents, Oscar and Josephine Mueller, and by his older brother Charles Mueller. He is survived by brother and sister-in-law, Glenn and Helen Mueller of Kalispell; his nieces Glenda Christenson (Tim), Sally Mueller (Richard Opper), and Ruth Mueller (Daniel Poli); 10 great- nieces and nephews and their children.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Shrine Hospital for Children, the Central Montana Foundation, or one of the many other organizations that George supported.
Visitation will be held Friday, Oct. 21, at the Creel Funeral Home Chapel from 5 to 7 p.m. Interment, prior to the service at the church, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 22, 12 p.m. at the Lewistown City Cemetery with Military Honors and Masonic Rites. The Funeral will be at 1 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church.
Arrangements are under the care of Creel Funeral Home. George’s family and friends can share memories and condolences at www.creelfuneralhome.com.