Arthur “Art” Mueller, 85, of Tampa passed away Sept. 26, 2013, at St. Luke Living Center in Marion. He was born Feb. 23, 1928, to HFK and Matilda (Bielefeld) Mueller of Tampa.
He was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church, north Tampa, and attended the parochial school there. After it closed, he attended Tampa High School, graduating in 1946. He started farming with his father and coached Tampa Grade School basketball.
He married Betty Popp on April 17, 1949, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Tampa. They began their married life on the farm northeast of Tampa where they lived more than 60 years. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with their family April 17, 2009. They were blessed with three sons: Dale, Douglas, and David.
Art entered St. Luke Living Center, Marion, in September 2009. He made friends quickly and the staff and residents became his second family. His ready smile and appreciation for the special care given him was also appreciated by Betty and their family.
Art was a faithful and active member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Tampa, serving in many offices and as an elder for 10 years. Art enjoyed sports, especially softball and basketball at which he excelled. He was an outstanding softball pitcher and one season pitched 31 games. He was a member of the Tampa softball team who were state champions in 1956.
He served as a Marion County soil conservation director for 10 years, treasurer for Colfax Township for many years, served on the Turkey Creek Watershed Board, and was also the beef and tractor 4-H leader for several years. He and his wife were awarded the Marion County Soil Conservation Award in 1988.
Art was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Betty; sons, Dale (Marla) of Folsom, Calif., Douglas of Hartland, Wis., and David of Tampa; five grandchildren, Brent of Sacramento, Calif., Christina (Travis) Schroeder of Eau Claire, Wis., Brenda of Muscat, Oman, Andrea of San Francisco, Calif., and Donovan of Hartland, Wis.; and great-grandchildren, Austin and Aiden Schroeder of Eau Claire, Wis.
He is also survived by three sisters, Agnes Steinert of Hutchinson, Paula (Warren) Fike of Ramona; and Doris (Richard) Ott of Golden, Mo.; one brother, Lawrence (Ruth) of Iola; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Erich, Arnold, Werner, and Lloyd; and one sister, Alice (Ed) Winter.
Memorial funds have been established for St. John’s Lutheran Church, Tampa, and St. Luke Living Center, Marion.
His funeral was Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Tampa. Interment was in St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery.