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MUELLER, Denis Armin

MUELLER - Denis Armin Of Asheville, NC, was born June 19, 1935 in St. Louis, MO. He was the only child of Emil W. Mueller and Lena Rippelmeyer Mueller. Both were born and raised in Valmeyer, Ill. His early childhood was spent in St. Louis with weekend visits to relatives' farms in Valmeyer. He demonstrated an early aptitude for numbers and science. He was active in scouting and was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout. He attended Bayless High School, graduating with high honors. He worked part time as a theater usher and at Ralston Labs. Upon graduation he was awarded a Naval Reserve officer training program scholarship to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. There he was admitted into membership in Eta Kappa Nu and earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1957. He was commissioned in the United States Navy as an Ensign following his studies. After several interim training assignments, he was ordered to the USS Shangri-La (CVA-38) and home-ported inSan Diego, Calif., as an electrical officer. The ship was soon deployed to the Southern Pacific, with port visits in Japan, Taiwan and a host of other countries. After deployment the ship returned to the East Coast of the United States via Cape Horn for overhaul. He remained on active duty until May 1960. He married Miss Sandra Jean Atherton, of Victorville, Calif. He resigned from active duty shortly after marriage. He accepted a position with Westinghouse Electric Company and was sent to Pittsburg, PA, for additional training. From there he was given a position in Buffalo, N.Y., in the General Control Division. His two children were born soon afterward: son Craig Mueller in March 1961, and daughter Cheryl Mueller in June 1964. Anxious to further his education, Denis continued his studies at the University of Buffalo, earning M.S. degrees in engineering (1965) and Business Administration (1969), as well as membership in Tau Beta Pi and Beta Gamma Sigma honor societies. Denis was employed at Westinghouse's General Control Division in Buffalo, N.Y., when he married Miss Sandra Elsbeth Yates in August 1970. The division was moved to Asheville, N.C., in 1978. There they built their home where he lived for the rest of his life. Denis was a talented engineer. During his 34-year career, he performed award-winning electrical design work until retiring in December 1994. Denis was named on 16 U.S. patents. As manager of the Solid State Development Group for the Control Product Lines in 1989, he received recognition for Outstanding Contribution, including the George Westinghouse Innovation Award. He was the recipient of the George Westinghouse Signature Award of Excellence as Advanced Product Planning Manager in 1992. In retirement, Denis was appointed an Associate Fellow in the Eaton Society of Inventors in August 1996 for his inventiveness and ingenuity. Despite the accolades in his field, he remained best known in the family for designing the power system for the original monorail in Disneyland. The designing and building of their Asheville home allowed for a large model train layout featured in publications and modelers tours. Denis and Sandra traveled to many countries in retirement and enjoyed family vacations. Denis had much pride in his son Craig and his children Bradley and Claire (mother, Paula) and Elizabeth and William (mother, Cristina). He also had great joy in his daughter Cheryl Muller and her husband, Michael Theobald, and their children Jonathan, Amanda and Julia. With his daughter, son, and wife present, Denis Armin Mueller succumbed to COPD on March 18, 2015. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Mission Health Care Foundation, P.O. Box 5363,Asheville, NC 28813 designated: COPD in memory of DA Mueller. A memorial celebration is planned for 11 AM on Saturday, May 16, 2015, in First Baptist Church's Chapel, 5 Oak St. in downtown Asheville. Visitation at the Mueller home, 83 Ballantree Dr., will be held afterward. Family and friends are encouraged to write a short remembrance to be placed in a Memory Book. Online at

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