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