University of Montana School of Law, Class of 1940
Jeanne Mueller, Reunion Letter, written 1980:
” . . . . Following graduation from Law School in 1940 (Univ of Mont) I worked briefly for the Montana Power company and then went to Seattle, seeking fame and fortune, of course. (I gave up that quest some time ago.) I worked in the trust department of a very large bank for a year or so, maybe two. But, patriotic fever and itchy feet motivated me to join the Red Cross. After two weeks indoctrination and many inoculations I was sailing with about ten thousand troops to New Guinea on the ‘luxury liner” Lurline. Oh, it was so hot and so crowded. But, we ate with the officers and the food was good.
In New Guinea, and later in the Philipines, I had various jobs, but most of my talent was directed toward making sandwiches and coffee at the canteens. It was hard, hot work, but there were rewarding experiences. I’ll always remember the spirit of friendliness and trust during those times. It might interest you that fellow Red Cross workers were Eleanor Larsen, Frances Cook and Angela McCormick all from Missoula, of course.
At the end of the war I went to Europe with the Red Cross and then, because the Army of Occupation was needing lawyers, I became a civilian attorney in the Judge Advocate Division. This was fascinating and educational. And it gave me a wonderful opportunity to travel in Europe for three years in my own Army surplus jeep. I logged 20,000 miles, and gasoline only fifteen cents a gallon.
In time I felt I should become repatriated, so I returned to the States. During the difficult adjustment period I decided color photography would appeal to me, but alas! This was one of my dismal failures. Well, not too dismal. I did sell some photos to calendar companies and others.
Then I spent five years in Washington, D. C. in the public relations department of American Trucking Associations. If you still don’t love those big trucks — it’s not because I didn’t try. . . . But five years was enough of Washington and I went to Seattle where I was employed in public relations work.
On the death of my father in 1963 I returned to Missoula to manage the tire business with my mother for ten years. Not my dish of tea, really, but I now know a lot about tires! Now we are retired and living in the beautiful Rattlesnake Valley, where we have a garden, a big yard and lots of work.
I’m enjoying good health. I have flying grey hair and corns. Otherwise I haven’t changed a bit. I like to ski (cross-country), jog and square dance. I have been painting pictures (oils) for about ten years. More recently I began a career of playing the wooden flute (recorder) and spend many hours making music with friends, which is a great pleasure.
I returned to Europe twice in the 1970’s. I toured Mexico extensively by automobile and thoroughly loved the people, the culture and the scenery. No bad experiences whatever. My mother passed away in 1989.
Jeanne Mueller, 5705 Wildcat Road, Missoula
4 February 2006 — Obituary “D. Jeanne Mueller” — Missoulian
“A real sweetheart passed away on Jan. 24, 2006. D. Jeanne Mueller was truly one of God’s angels and we are grateful and happy that we had the chance to experience her sense of humor, penchant for the eccentric, feisty personality, inquisitive intellect and affection for all, especially her dogs.
Jeanne was born July 2, 1917, in Columbus, the daughter of Oscar John Mueller and Marguerite Florence Buker Mueller. From the beginning Jeanne had a flair for the creative and immersed herself in music, the arts and books.
More than anything else, Jeanne loved the outdoors. Throughout her life, she loved to hike, bike, walk, ski and play many sports. She loved her large garden and grew fruits and vegetables for her own consumption. She had bird feeders outside most of her windows and a pair of binoculars in the kitchen just for watching birds.
On the creative side, Jeanne was a wonderful photographer and painter. With her saucy personality, she was always fun to be around and she loved to entertain as well as attend community events. She danced with a square dancing group well into her 70s.
Jeanne lived in Missoula virtually all of her life and graduated from high school in 1934, Montana State University (later renamed the University of Montana) in 1938, and the School of Law in 1940. During World War II, Jeanne was in the Red Cross; she drove an ambulance and traveled to New Guinea and the Phillipines.
Jeanne’s father started Mueller Tire Co. in Missoula in 1922, and after his death, Jeanne managed the business for many years. She was a charter member of the League of Women Voters and served as president from 1955 to 1957. Jeanne often traveled to Mexico and Europe with her mother.
Jeanne loved the University of Montana and the stimulating atmosphere it offered people of all ages. In her later years she loved to travel with her caregivers around Missoula to see the sights, but she especially liked to go to lunch at the Missoula Club and ‘watch the people.’ . . . .
Jeanne was preceded in death by her parents. She never married and is survived by her cousins Maggie Thompson Blumberg, Jon Thompson, Mark Thompson and Phil Thompson. . . .”
2 July 1917, in Columbus, Montana
Oscar Johannes Mueller and Marguerite Florence Buker
- B.A., Economics, University of Montana, 1938
- LL.B., University of Montana School of Law, 1940
- Montana Power Company
- Trust Department, Seattle Bank of Commerce
- American Red Cross (New Guinea, Philippines, somewhere in Europe)
- Civilian attorney, Judge Advocate Division
- Public Relations Department, American Trucking Association
- Vice President — O.J. Mueller Tire Company
Admitted to Practice:
- 3 poems published in Northwest Verse (H.G. Meriam ed., 1931)
- 2 color photographs published in the Valentine issue of Ideals Magazine, a bimonthly magazine devoted to pictures and poetry (1952)
24 January 2006, in Missoula, Montana
21 May 1945 — Missoulian — “Jeanne Mueller Writes of Red Cross Work at Base in Philippines”
“Although she has now been in the Philippines for many weeks, Miss Jeanne Mueller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. O.J. Mueller, has not yet reached Manila, where she hopes to be assigned soon.
With Miss Angela McCormick, Miss Mueller has been on overseas service with the American Red Cross for many months, and the two reached the Philippines soon after the reinvasion after long duty in the New Guinea sector.
Miss Mueller has just been assigned to a new detail and is to have charge of a new club that the Navy is opening on an island a short distance from the station from which she last wrote, ‘We go over by “ferry” in the morning and come back in the late afternoon as the club will not be open evenings, at least for a while,’ she wrote.
To show that there is real effort to provide the service men with real entertainment, regardless of what front they may be fighting, Miss Mueller said that ‘Oklahoma,’ the New York stage hit with several of the original cast of stars, is now playing at a USO in her vicinity. ‘It’s a wonderful show, and the voices excellent; the costumes delightful, but a bit warm for this climate. It really is warm here, but after our stretch in new Guinea, I’ll never complain again. I’m sure this is heavenly by comparison.’
The approach of V-E day was fully realized in the Pacific and Miss Mueller wrote, ‘It is wonderful to hear that the war in Europe is nearly over, but sometimes it seems as though it will just go on and on out hear, although of course, we know better. But it does look like a long, hard drag. Sometimes I wonder, if even when I see you, I will be able to tell you some of the things I have seen and heard, because I can’t bear to think of them, much less talk about them or write about them.’
Of her present station Miss Mueller said that is is the most picturesque place by far that she has ever seen. ‘For the time being,’ she wrote, ‘we are living in what might be called the suburbs of a town, probably a little larger than the Garden city. There are streets barely wide enough for two vehicles and laid out in a haphazard fashion, with deep ditches along both sides and the houses rights on the streets with no sidewalks.’
‘The natives are very clean and neat — on the surface. The women will step out of the dirtiest houses in spotless dresses, mostly white, although they go in for bright colors too. Their principal work seems to be laundry work for the GIs, and the yards are full of clothes. I am getting accustomed to seeing the women carrying huge bundles o their heads, not needing, even one hand to balance them.
‘In the neighborhood, the houses are crowded together and are very dilapidated. Our billet consists of three houses grouped around a courtyard;; the sleeping quarters occupy two of the houses, with a shower arrangement under the porch of one. The third house is a sort of combination living room, dining room and kitchen. We eat breakfast here and our other meals at a mess hall. You’d love the kitchen — the stove is an alcove about four feet long and three feet wide, and is actually just a stone table with a little sand on it. The coffee pot is set on a couple of tin cans or rocks, and a little wood fire built under it. Then another small fife is built to cook eggs on, and still a third to make toast.’
Water, Miss Mueller said, is practically undrinkable and is so strongly chlorinated that ‘the smell of it does things to your innards.’ The Americans are forbidden to eat any of the native food or cooking.
The Filipinos are very gay and friendly and many speak fairly good English, Miss Mueller said. She said that she and Miss McCormick had no more than landed than they were invited to party at the so-called officers’ club where quite a party had been got up in their honor. Scrambled eggs were served from a little gas stove and the alert was sounded during the cooking, so that it had to be done by flashlight. The plane that necessitated the alert got away, although ack ack and tracers opened up. The crump of a bomb was heard several miles distant. ‘Everyone was yelling advice, but during it all, we kept a careful eye on our foxholes,’ Miss Mueller said.
A State University law school graduate, Miss Mueller was employed in the trust department of a Seattle bank when she and Miss McCormick, also a State University graduate, decided to sign up with the Red Cross. Soon after indoctrination training they did a long hitch in New Guinea, which was broken by a vacation in Australia, just before they were sent on to the Philippines.”