Dr. Robert Arthur Mueller of Chapel Hill died Tuesday, February 3, 2015, at age 76 from complications of advanced Alzheimer’s disease.
He was born to the late Dr. Gustave and Edith Mueller, on July 24th, 1938, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Robert married his late wife, Marian Schiller Mueller in 1961. They enjoyed most of their life together in Chapel Hill, but they also lived in Madison, WI, Minneapolis, MN, Chicago, IL, Bethesda, MD, and Basel, Switzerland.
Robert received a Bachelor of Science in Medical Science at the University of Wisconsin in 1960. He received multiple advanced degrees from the University of Minnesota including a Master of Science in 1963, Medical Degree in 1965, and a PhD in Pharmacology in 1966. He also completed a surgical internship at the University of Minnesota in 1967.
Robert served for the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland for 3 years holding the rank of Surgeon and Lt. Commander and working as a Research Associate under the supervision of Dr. Julius Axelrod. Robert completed his military duty and research at the NIH in 1969. The following year, Dr. Axelrod was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his research team’s characterization of catecholamines. Their work led to the development of several antidepressant medications (SSRIs) including Prozac.
Following completion of his Anesthesiology residency at Northwestern in 1970, Robert accepted a faculty position at the University of North Carolina earning the titles of Professor of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology. Robert was a physician, researcher, and teacher for 37 years at UNC. He was well-known for his calmness in the operating room and witty dry sense of humor in the classroom. Robert retired from medicine in 2007.
His academic resume includes 1 textbook, 40 book chapters, 388 peer reviewed publications, and 12 visiting professorships. He won Teacher of the Year Award twice for the Department of Anesthesiology. He served as a consultant for 2 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panels. He was Vice Chairman for Research and served on several UNC Hospital committees.
Robert enjoyed traveling with his family, sailing, home remodeling, and watching sporting events. Robert spent many hours volunteering for Boy Scout Troop 39 and their recycling program. Robert and his late wife Marian helped establish the Sam Hennessee Scholarship in Princeton, Wisconsin for local students interested in pursuing careers in healthcare and medicine.
Robert is survived by his four sons: Kraig Eric Mueller and wife Anne of Raleigh, Gustav Frederick Mueller and Paola Amador of Mebane, Kurt Robert Mueller and wife Monique of Chapel Hill, and Jeffrey Schiller Mueller and wife Jennifer of Pittsburgh, PA. Robert is also survived by 11 grandchildren and his brother Dr. Gustave Mueller.
A visitation with the family will be held at Bob's home, 228 Kirkwood Drive, Chapel Hill, Friday, February 6th from 7-9 pm. A graveside memorial service will be held at Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery, 1721 Legion Road, Chapel Hill, Saturday, February 7th at 11 am. Immediately following the service, family invites guests to celebrate Bob's life at Bob’s home.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the UNC General Scholarship Fund (giving.unc.edu), Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (alz.org/donate), or the Sam Hennessee Scholarship Fund (Dr. G.G. Mueller VFW Post 10452, 136 North Farmer Street, Princeton, WI 54968) in honor of Dr. Robert Mueller.