Joseph Brian Mueller

  • Born: November 24, 1934
  • Died: December 31, 2018
  • Location: MKount Pleasant, South Carolina

J. Henry Stuhr Mount Pleasant Chapel

1494 Mathis Ferry Road
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Tel. (843) 881-9293

Tribute & Message From The Family

Joseph Brian Mueller, 81, husband of the late Mary Yvette Gonzalez Mueller, passed from this earth to Heaven peacefully at his home near Charleston, SC, on Monday, December 31, 2018.
Joe grew up on a small poultry farm near the Mt. Hood National Forest in beautiful western Oregon. He was for the most part the only farm hand and learned to work hard, taking care of the chickens and eggs, picking strawberries, and driving both the farm tractor and hay hauling truck when he was twelve. After high school, Joe spent a couple of years of undergraduate studies at Portland State and Santa Clara Universities and some US Forest Service time. He enrolled at the US Naval Academy in 1957. Joe was assigned to the 9th Company throughout his 4 years. He was a member of the varsity Wrestling Team and led his battalion tennis team to the intramural championship. Joe graduated with distinction in 1961 and was presented his diploma by President Kennedy in June of that year.
Joe met his future wife, Mary, in 1960 on a blind date at homecoming, while he attended the Naval Academy and she attended Notre Dame College in Baltimore. They were married in 1962, and remained so until Mary's death in 2013. Joe and Mary's family was, and is, tri-cultural. Mary was born in Puerto Rico. During their Navy years they lived, with their 3 children, in San Diego, CA, Groton, CT, and Charleston, SC. Rebeca, a program manager at the Medical University of SC, met and married her husband, Anh Toan Ho, in Viet Nam. She lives in the Charleston area with Toan, a restaurant owner, and son Joseph (JT), a gifted musician. Stephen met and married his wife, Phuong, in Vietnam. They live in Vietnam with their two sons, Brian and Ben. Stephen and Phuong started and own a tour company that features tours, throughout Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, riding on Vespa motorbikes. Kenneth is not married. He also lives in Vietnam and is involved in exports and imports and transportation projects.
Joe's Naval career spanned 30 years of the Cold War. After a year and a half of nuclear and submarine training, Joe reported in 1963 to USS Scamp SSN588, probably the fastest submarine in the world at that time. Joe served on 6 nuclear submarines, eventually commanding USS Henry L Stimson SSBN655. Joe also had 2 tours on submarine squadron staffs where he helped train the crews and commanding officers of fast attack submarines in the squadron. Joe's last command was USS Holland AS32, an afloat depot and submarine repair ship with more than 1,000 men and women engaged in every activity required to support a squadron of SSBNs and crews; repairs, re-supply, medical and dental, torpedoes, missiles and nuclear warheads. After his tour in command of Holland, Joe finished his Navy career at the staff of Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic where he was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations.
When Joe retired from the Navy, he and his family continued to live in the Charleston area. Joe and Mary built their dream house, on a tidal creek, with a dock and fishing boat. The dock was completed first, then the house. He worked for 25 more years for two large technology companies engaged in the management of research projects. He found time to devote to a deep engagement for more than 30 years with a world wide catholic charity, St. Vincent de Paul, whose mission is helping individuals and families in need. He founded the St Benedict conference of St. Vincent de Paul in Mt. Pleasant about 15 years ago. Joe also was busy in the local US Tennis Association leagues, where one of his teams won the state championship in Men's 70+ doubles league. He and a Navy buddy were undefeated at the subsequent Southern Championships. Besides his family and charity work, Joe's greatest passion was fishing. He and Navy and local friends spent hundreds of hours, many at night, catching shrimp, flounder and redfish in the tidal creeks around Charleston. He joined another group of friends for fishing trips along the Pacific Coast of Oregon and Alaska, pursuing salmon and halibut.
After Mary passed away, Joe traveled the world, often with travel buddies, exploring more than 30 countries. Joe enjoyed life to the fullest, especially his work with St Vincent de Paul helping those in need, primarily in the rural areas of the South Carolina Low Country. A memorial mass will held at St. Benedict Catholic Church on Friday, January 4, 2019 at 11:00 am. Joe will be interred with Mary at Mepkin Abbey, a Trappist monastery, in Moncks Corner, SC.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution can be made to St Vincent de Paul, St Benedict parish, 950 Darrell Creek Trail, Mt Pleasant, SC 29466.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Joe was A Compassionate Man & Team Builder.
I First Met Joe When I Reported to the Stimson for Assignment to the Blue Crew, but since They Had the Boat I Reported to the Gold Crew off Crew Office Where I Was Notified That I Would Fly with Them to Rota, Spain for Crew Turnover.
I Had Managed to Injure My Left Arm So it Was in a Cast and Totally Unusable. The Evening We Arrived in Rota We All Went to the Officers Club for Supper. Without Even Thinking about My Arm I Ordered a Big Steak. To Make a Long Story Short Joe Looked at It, Laughed and Started Cutting it up for Me, at Least I Was Able to Eat it with My One Good Hand.
Two Years and Four Patrols Later Joe Was the Senior Officer Who Did My Submarine Qualification Walk Through to Get My Gold Dolphins!

Posted by JOHN COLE - ST GEORGE, UT - Friend   January 15, 2019

Joe was my CO when I was Weapons Officer. He was a fine example of what every CO should aspire to. He new when to wear his CO hat and when to wear his friends hat either out gigging for flounder or being a source of sage advice in my future positions in the Navy and in civilian life.
As a team Joe and Mary were the example of what a Navy husband and spouse should be. Remembering Mary's 40th Birthday where we brought in pizza from Old World Pizza from Groton CT. and had it flown to Charleston.
It is said that a person is known by his legacy. Joe has left us a magnificent legacy in his wonderful Family.
We all know the end will come, but Joe navigated life with dignity, compassion a sense of adventure while remaining an example to all.
We all have been bleesed by Joe's presence in our life
Warmest reards
Bob Sands LCDR.(RET)

Posted by Bob Sands - Washington, UT - Served in the Military together   January 15, 2019

To Joseph's family and friends, on behalf of the United States Submarine Veterans (USSVI), I offer our sincere condolences on Joseph's passing. You and your loved ones are in our thoughts and prayers. We are forever grateful for Joseph's service to our country in the United States Submarine service. Joe qualified in submarines on and served aboard the USS Scamp (SSN-588), the USS Henry L Stimson (SSBN-655), ans the submarine tender USS Holland (AS-32)

May you find kindness to warm you, sympathy to comfort you, and cherished memories to bring peace to your heart.

To our Brother of the Phin we say, Sailor, rest your oar. We have the watch. May you rest in peace and may God bless your loved ones who remain. Thank you for your service to our country."

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way.
2 Thessalonians 3:16.

Mueller, Joseph B., US Navy, Now on Eternal Patrol -- Fair Winds and Following Seas to our departed shipmate.

Joseph's record is posted online in the Eternal Patrol file on the USSVI website.

Rev. Ray Fritz, EM1(SS) - Acting National Chaplain United States Submarine Veterans, USSVI and assistant Carolina Piedmont Base, USSVI (803-619-1121),

Posted by Chaplain Raymond Fritz - Lake Wylie, SC   January 14, 2019

Joe and I were shipmates aboard the USS SEAWOLF SSN575 for nearly 4 years. We enjoyed the challenges onboard the "575". I am saddened to hear of his passing and to read that Mary left this earth in 2013..
God Bless Them Both!
Regards - Don Madura 860-593-1900
Here is poem for our shipmates who are on Eternal Patrol
There is a port of no return where ships may ride at anchor for a little space. And then some starless night the cable slips leaving only an eddy at the mooring place. Gulls veer no longer, Sailor rest your oar. No tangled Wreckage will be washed ashore

Hand Salute
CAPT Joseph Mueller. . . . Rest your oar.

Posted by DONALD MADURA - Waterford, CT - Friend   January 11, 2019

Joe was the Engineer on USS Seawolf when I reported aboard for my first tour in submarines in 1969. Of course I thought, at the time, that he was very strict/exacting but came to find out over the year we served together that he really knew what he was doing and was a fine officer. I was fortunate that I was able to spend a few hours with him many years later on a trip to Charleston where we sat a talked as friends - not senior to junior. I know he will be missed.

Posted by Howard Chatham - Served in the Military together   January 11, 2019

A true leader, He made USS HOLLAND my best Junior Officer tour! Thank you Sir, Fair Winds.

Posted by Edwin Lancaster LCDR USN (Ret) - Avon, IN - Served in the Military together   January 10, 2019

My condolences to Joe's family on his passing.
My parents were good friends of Joe's parents, Natalie and Art. I remember how proud of Joe his parents were, and they had good reason to be. I remember him when he was a senior in High School at Estacada. We went to the same church.
What a good life he lived. He left too soon, but he is united with Mary, and his parents. Prayers to the family.

Posted by Gloria Graven - Springfield, OR - Family Friend   January 04, 2019

Very sad to learn of Capt Mueller passing. He was my CO on Stimson for all but one of his Command patrols. It was an honor to be on his crew! Fair Winds and Following Seas!

Posted by Steve Burnett - New London, CT   January 04, 2019

JB was my C.O. on H.L.STIMSON,my sincere condolences to the family and freinds. He was the real deal.Jan 1977 calmly pulled us out of a death plunge.we repaired all damage without surfacing, a great inspiration and roll model for me still in my teens. fair winds and a following sea. WE HAVE THE WATCH

Posted by QM2/SS W.J. CLARK 655G 76-79    January 04, 2019

Posted by QM2/SS WJ Clark SSBN655GOLD 1976-79    January 04, 2019

Posted by QM2/SS WJ Clark SSBN655GOLD 1976-79    January 04, 2019

I have known Joe since 1952 and a finer person you will never meet. He was one of the kindest people I ever had the privilege to know. We shared a lot of goodtime at Estacada Union High School and I will never forget all our memories. Rest in Peace Joe I love you forever dear friend.

Posted by Beverly Fox-Thomas - Sallas, OR - Classmate   January 04, 2019

Dear Mueller Family,

The Muellers and Cavinesses have been connected for five decades, ever since the blind dates your parents and my parents had that same, fateful weekend in Annapolis, Maryland.

Both Joe and Bob went on to marry their Puerto Rican brides and give birth to all of us, starting our forever friendship as intertwined familias.

The news of Joe's passing has hit us hard and we deeply share your sorrow. Please know that we are thinking of you all and sending you all of our love and eternal condolences.

Con mucho cariño y abrazos,
Kim, Marisa and Hillary

P.S. Am taking comfort in thinking of Joe, your mom, and my dad, all together now, upstairs.

Posted by Kim Caviness - Chicago, IL   January 04, 2019

We are sad to hear of his passing. He was always so enlightening and funny.
He always remained optimistic and cheerful. Lots of hugs to all of your family!

Posted by Carrie Wilcox - SC - Acquaintance   January 04, 2019

Captain Joe Mueller was my very first CO in the Navy on USS HENRY L STIMSON. He and his wife Mary took great care of my wife Meg and I during our time in Charleston. I had the opportunity to be his tennis partner on occasion during refits in Kings Bay. We will never forget the kindness of both Joe and Mary. They are the reason we stayed in the Navy for so many years. God Bless! Fair winds and following seas!

Joe and Meg Leidig

Posted by Joe Leidig - Arnold, MD - Served in the Military together   January 02, 2019

So very sorry to hear of Joes passing
What an incredible life he had
My condolences to the family

Posted by A friend   January 02, 2019

Very much appreciated Capt. Mueller when he was my CO on board Stimson. Much respect for him.

Posted by James Bowles - Austin, TX - Served in the Military together   January 02, 2019

We were next door neighbors of Mary and Joe in Mt Pleasant and were blessed by their friendship. We have wonderful memories of the fun and times we shared.
Our love and prayers go to Beca, Steve, Kenneth and their families.
May God bless each one of you.
Kay and John Hinds

Posted by kay and john hinds - Greensboro, GA - Friend   January 02, 2019

Dear Rebecca and family,
I am so sorry to hear about your dad! I remember when your mom and he would pick up JT in the carpool line at school. They would come up and talk about things, mainly JT They were so happy to see him. I'll keep all of you in my prayers. May God hold you in his loving arms. YESIC!

Posted by Susa Snyder - Daniel island, SC   January 02, 2019

I had the pleasant experience of being the Blue crew CO of USS Henry L. Stimson, alternating with Joe over a three year span 1978-1981. He was clearly a dynamic leader and true professional. My heartfelt condolence to his family.

Posted by Thomas Conrey - CHARLESTON, SC   January 02, 2019

To the Mueller Family,

On behalf of the Charleston Base SUBVETS and Swamp Fox Chapter SUBVETS WWII, I offer you our sincere condolences on Joe's passing. We grieve with you on the death of your loved one and our shipmate. The SUBVETS will have your family in our thoughts and prayers. There is no expiration date on the back of our dolphins and Joe, who earned his 'fish' when he qualified on USS SCAMP SSN588, will always be remembered as a Brother of the Phin and a great Patriot. BRAVO ZULU SHIPMATE!!

CAPT(SS) Joseph Brian Mueller
US Navy Submarine Veteran Retired
Now on Eternal Patrol
Sailor Rest Your Oar
Your Shipmates Have The Watch

Fair Winds and Following Seas Shipmate

Charleston Base Submarine Veterans
Nick Nichols, MTCM(SS) USN Ret.
Base Chaplain

Posted by Nick Nichols - Summerville, SC - Served in the Military together   January 01, 2019

Captain Mueller was my CO when I reported aboard HOLLAND in 1986 as First Lieutenant. He was a great CO and much beloved by the crew and wardroom. I send my heartfelt condolences to Captain Mueller's family and friends.

Posted by Luke Biggs - Summerville, SD - Served in the Military together   January 01, 2019

Joe was a mentor and friend. My Captain as Engineer. My opponent in doubles. My partner in business and my friend as a fisherman. Linda and I miss Joe and Mary, but we were lucky to have known them.

Posted by Rik Dilgren - Charleston, SC - Served in the Military together   January 01, 2019

Family Album

Rick Self's change of command