FARMINGTON - Todd Jeffrey Mueller, 70, of Kingfield, died unexpectedly Nov. 14 at Franklin Memorial Hospital with, the light of his life, Crystal Gareau, by his side.
He was born July 1942 in Erie, Pa., son of Karl Wilhem Mueller and Ilse Weber Mueller (first generation German immigrants). He grew up in Reading, Pa. and attended the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn. during his high school years, where he flourished as a young man. Todd attended Yale University, graduating Cum Laude in 1964. He then attended the University of Virginia Medical School. During his junior year he studied in Munich, Germany and had the opportunity to connect with his family members abroad, forming lasting bonds of friendship. Graduation was followed by a surgical residency at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City.
Todd felt the call of duty and served in the United States Army as a special forces doctor during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was sent to Vietnam with the 173rd Special Airborne Operations Brigade, An Khe. Later he was assigned to Fifth Special Forces Group Airborne (Green Berets) as a captain in charge of the medical team in Nha Trang, with operations in Pleiku, Kantum, Dak To and Da Nang. As part of the Special Mission Advisory Group, Todd trained Vietnamese Special Forces combat medics in the Montagnard villages of the Central Highlands. Todd had a keen eye and a caring heart for the cultural needs of the Montagnard people of Vietnam who referred to him as “Bacsi” (the healer). He was a role model to all in his charge and earned the respect and admiration of everyone in his unit.
After serving his country, in 1972 he came to Kingfield, where he had previously purchased a parcel of land and began building his little piece of paradise on the Carrabassett River, known to the locals as ‘The Ledges.’ He found much healing during that initial construction process as he fostered friendships with the hard working people he shared his days with. The project covered a 30-year span and involved many talented and skilled local craftsman, resulting in the unique and magical homestead that stands there today. During this time he utilized his skills practicing medicine at the Rural Health Center, serving the people of Kingfield and the surrounding area.
Todd became one of the first 100 certified emergency room physicians in the U.S. He moved to Cambridge, Mass. and established a corporation to provide E.R. services to Boston area hospitals including the Anna Jaques Hospital and J.B. Thomas Hospital, where he worked diligently with his associates, until his retirement at age 50.
After retirement, The Ledges called him back, where he settled permanently. When Todd wasn’t carving his way down the slopes of Sugarloaf Mountain, he could be found aboard his much beloved sailboat “Syzygy.” Over the years Todd became a proficient and skilled skier and sailor, but what he enjoyed most was sharing those times with his friends.
Besides skiing and sailing, Todd enjoyed traveling to various points of the globe, including visits with friends in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and all over the U.S. He had a great love for music, with a passion for classical. He became an accomplished Flamenco guitarist while studying in Spain. He enjoyed the stimulation of intellectual conversation and was a voracious reader of all types of fine literature. He was an avid saltwater fly fisherman and enjoyed stalking the bonefish around Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas, with his brother, Jimmy.
Todd was very involved in the life of his Godson, Tristan Todd Werner. He contributed valued wisdom, guidance and moral support at every milestone of Tristan’s formative years. Todd was particularly proud of Tristan’s educational success and was there to congratulate him on the day he graduated from Maine Maritime Academy, with a degree in marine engineering. Todd was pleased to know that his love for the sea would be carried forward by his Godson.
While riding a chairlift at Sugarloaf 12 years ago, Todd happened to catch a ride with Crystal and felt that he should to get to know her better, later realizing that she was the woman for him. They had a mutual admiration and respect for each other and shared many common interests. His relationship with Crystal brought fullness to the final years of his life. He deeply cherished the love and laughter they shared.
Todd had an insatiable zest for life and in his heart there were no limits. Those who knew him, knew he had big plans and dreams for a number of adventures till the day he passed. There could never be enough room here to list all of his life accomplishments. There is one thing for sure, he will be dearly missed forever by all whose lives he touched along his path.
He is survived by his brother, James Mueller of Oregon. Additionally, he is survived by many close relatives who reside in Germany.
He was predeceased by his father, Karl Wilhem Mueller, his mother, Ilse Weber Mueller and his sister, Sibyl Weinstein.
Arrangements are in the care of the Wiles Remembrance Center and Funeral Home of Farmington. A Memorial Service celebrating Todd’s life will be held on December 8th with Rev. Pam Morse officiating, at 11:00AM at the Richard Bell Chapel at Sugarloaf Mountain followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Todd J. Mueller to: Fisher House, Boston, P. O. Box 230, South Walpole, MA 02071 or online at: www.fisherhouseboston.org