Dr. Van Mueller, Ed.DDr.
Minn., passed away peacefully on
Thursday, March 8, 2012, surrounded by his family.
Van was born in Manistique, Mich., in 1929 and graduated from Manistique High School. He also attended and graduated from Central Michigan College of Education with a B.S., the University of Michigan with a M.A., and from Michigan State University with an Ed.D. In 1964, he accepted a position in the Educational Administration Department where he taught for 33 years.
After earning a B.S. in 1953, Van served in the U.S. Army at Fort Knox and Fort Bragg, and was honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant from the 44th Armored Division of the 82nd Airborne. He then spent 10 years as a teacher and administrator in Michigan public schools and in the Michigan Department of Instruction.
Van was passionate about education and equality for all students. He served on numerous state and national committees. He was president of the Minnesota PTA for two years, and served as national vice-president and treasurer. He co- founded the American Education Finance Association where he served as a board member, vice-president and president and was co-editor of two AEFA yearbooks. He also held several offices with the local, state and national PHI DELTA KAPPA, and honorary education group.
Van is survived by his wife, Mildred “Mike” of 60 years; two daughters, Kerry Fritze and Vanessa Mueller (Doug Hodgdon); four grandchildren, Kyle, Fritze (Michael McKay), Ryan (Cassandra) Fritze, Evan Hodgdon, and Loren Fritze, brother, William (Pat); and 11 nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Edith Irene in 1982; and sister, Margaret Alice Jahn in 1964.
Dr. Van Mueller established the Endowed Scholarship in honor of his daughter Edith who was a senior in Park and Recreation when she died in 1982. The Eva Burrell Animal Shelter was gifted with start-up funds and has been a favorite charity for Van and Mike since 1992.
A memorial service will be held at McNamara Center on the U. of M. campus on Sunday, March 25, at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Edith I. Mueller Scholarship Fund at the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota, or to the Eva Burrell Animal Shelter in Manistique, Mich. A graveside ceremony in Manistique is planned for June.