Jo Ann Mueller
Jo Ann (Fifer) Mueller, 88, died peacefully Wednesday, April 3 at her home in Las Vegas. She was born December 16, 1930 in Santa Monica, California. She always loved the fact that she was born on Beethoven’s birthday. Growing up during the Great Depression, her family moved around the country and she became very good at making new friends wherever she lived. Her family lived in Southern California, Colorado, Texas and Louisiana before settling in Pacific Grove, California, where Jo graduated from high school in 1948. She worked for the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, where among her duties was giving bus tours of the famous 17-Mile Drive. On a blind double date in August 1950, she met the love of her life, Navy man Harold Mueller. It was the classic “love at first sight” for both, and they were married December 4, 1950. They spent the first nine months of their marriage on the South Pacific island of Truk after Hal separated from the Navy to do meteorology work for the United Nations Trust Territories. While Hal attended Monterey Peninsula College, Jo did clerical work and in 1953 their son Robert was born in Carmel. Hal continued his education at UCLA while Jo worked nights at Douglas Aircraft. They moved to Las Vegas in 1956 when Hal was hired by the Atomic Energy Commission and in 1957 their daughter Susan was born. During the kids’ school years, Jo became active with the PTA and was Las Vegas Area Council president. Jo loved interacting with people and for twelve years was a lecturer for Weight Watchers, which she greatly enjoyed. She cared about civic issues like libraries and public transportation, was a candidate for school board, and was active with the League of Women Voters. After Hal passed away in 1996, Jo stayed busy with bowling, bingo, Red Hats, and volunteering at the Atomic Testing Museum. She loved her annual trips to the Utah Shakespeare Festival, which she and Hal had enjoyed for many years. Her greatest joy was her family. She is survived by her son Bob and his wife Kathleen Peppard of Santa Cruz, California, who gave Hal and Jo their two grandsons, Max and Peter. Max and his wife Charlotte presented Jo with her great-granddaughter Olive on February 24, 2018, which would have been Hal’s 88th birthday. Jo is also survived by her daughter Susan and husband Don McCue of Redlands, California, her sisters Roberta Peters of Las Vegas and Patricia Kieffer of Watsonville, California and many nephews, nieces and cousins, plus her faithful dog Sam.
Published in Las Vegas Review-Journal on Apr. 14, 2019.