Kathleen ‘Kathy’ Adele Mueller

July 11, 1948

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August 24, 2020

Kathleen ‘Kathy’ Adele Mueller

July 11, 1948

-

August 24, 2020

In Loving Memory

Kathleen ‘Kathy’ Adele Mueller

July 11, 1948 — Aug. 24, 2020

Kathy Mueller passed away at home on Aug. 24, 2020. She was born on July 11, 1948, in Billings, the third of six children born to Joe and Virginia (Kennedy) Mueller. She was raised in Billings, where she attended Kate Fratt Memorial School and Billings Central Catholic High School, graduating with the class of 1966.

On the evening of Dec. 22, 1958, when Kathy was 10 years old, she was at home, babysitting her three younger brothers while her parents were Christmas shopping. Noticing smoke near a living room lamp and not finding a cause, Kathy went to arouse the basement tenants. When the tenants did not answer, she opened a basement utility room door. Seeing flames flaring up, she closed the door, ran upstairs and, barefooted, took her brothers, ages 5, 4 and 18 months, in subfreezing temperatures, to a neighbor’s across the street. The neighbor called the fire department and the flames, now well advanced, were extinguished in record time. Thanks to her quick thinking, the family was back home six weeks later. By averting a pre-Christmas tragedy, Kathy was awarded the nation’s highest fire prevention heroism award from Gov. J. Hugo Arneson. She was the first girl in the nation, the fourth person in the nation, and the first Montanan to receive the Junior Fire Marshal Gold Award Medal, and was further honored as “Honorary Billings Fire Chief.”

Kathy lived briefly in Hawaii, but spent the majority of her adult life in Billings, where she was employed at ER Young, Midland Implement and Wells Fargo Bank, working in data entry. Red Lodge held wonderful memories for Kathy, particularly the family cabin and riding in the Yellowstone Park touring buses in 4th of July parades.

Kathy especially enjoyed bowling with her girlfriends, watching soap operas and preparing food for large gatherings, including the annual North Star Body Shop Christmas parties — a special favorite was her homemade chili. And the family always requested her green bean casserole at holiday dinners.

Kathy loved everything Elvis! She was very outgoing and social, and always willing to extend a helping hand to anyone in need.

Kathy is survived by a large family who will miss her every day: siblings Diann (Mick Wolff), Don (Sue Anderson), John (Sue Agnew) of Billings, T.J. of Huntley and Kim of Worden; 10 nieces and nephews; as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins; and many cherished friends, especially her dear friend, Clarence Lenhardt.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Joe and Virginia Mueller, and her oldest brother, Dan.

A funeral mass and celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Thank you,

The Mueller Family

Memorials in memory of Kathy may be made to: Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust, PO Box 1522, Red Lodge, MT 59068.

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11 thoughts on “Kathleen ‘Kathy’ Adele Mueller”

  1. Oh, my heart goes out to all the family. And I have to agree, the chili was the best!😎. Know you are all in my thoughts and sending our love. Rest Kathy, rest.

  2. I am sorry to hear about Kathy. I did not see her alot always at our class reunions. She always had a place for me to stay, I only talked to her occasionally, but she was my person that I have kept in touch with ever since High School. And we actually graduated in 1966.

  3. Jackie Jacobson

    I had no idea that Kathy was such a hero! What a great story. I’m so sorry that she is gone but I know she is pain free now. Thinking of you all at this sad time. God bless.

  4. I remember Kathy as the fearless classmate who sat behind me in Sr. Mary Delores’s 7th grade class. Kathy often crossed the street after lunch in St. Pat’s basement to buy a bag full of penny candy from Snappy Foods. She would dump her cache of “lick-em-ade”, tootsie rolls, jaw breakers, wax lips or whatever on top of her desk in plain sight of all of us. Kathy realized that, at her advanced age, Sr.Delores was unlikely to notice her devouring the goodies if she was quiet when opening the wrappers. In those days of corporal punishment, I thought that she was the bravest girl I knew. I look back in admiration of her determination and confidence. I am glad that you live in my memories Kathy. God Bless your family. Vonnie L.

  5. mike and jeanie marr
    august 29 2020 at 12:15 pm
    kathy
    my dear sweet friend and classmate at central,we are in shock at the news we received last night from a mutual friend.You were always such a faithful friend sharing our miracle story with us.
    I miss all of our lunch and dinner dates.Because of your love for hawaiian music and having lived there for a time i was so thankful on one of my layovers to get don ho to sign a special dvd for you to add to your collection.I know how much you appreciated getting it. Will never forget our
    senior trip to your place in red lodge. It was quite a treat as well as you were also.Kathy i will miss our talks and memorable times together.Didnt know about the fire. What a heroine! Our thoughts and prayers out to your family.

  6. Greg and I were so sorry last week, to hear about Kathy’s passing. We have many wonderful memories of times we spent with her. She was a very kind and lovely lady! Sending prayers for all her family🙏✝️

  7. Brett & Lisa Cherrington

    To The Mueller family, we extend our heartfelt condolences. May you always hold fond memories of your time together.

  8. Our sympathy to our friends in the Mueller family at the loss of Kathy. She was a neat lady We always enjoyed our visits with her and each year looked forward to her fantastic chili. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Bob and Sylvia

  9. Kathy was loved by all her co-workers at Norwest-Wells Fargo. At first she was a bit of a mother-hen so some of the younger employees—they adored chuckling about recent “Friends” episodes. After a few years people were happy to “give back” and help with diagnosing car issues gor her. One kind man, Troy, re-roofed Kathy’s home after a disreputable roofing outfits left her with a mess.
    Kathy was a Montanan with values we don’t see so much these days; always shared large bowls of treats next to her desk—next to her Elvis memorabilia💐.
    I wish I’d kept in touch. Would like to have done something for her had she been ailing—–as she would have happily done for the folks she cared about at Wells.
    Nice to hear of her heroism award. Just like her to save a family yet never spoke of that in the years we all worked closely in the banking call-center.
    Love you Kathy🌹

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