A Tribute to a Lutheran Teacher

Today I will follow up on a previous post called Indy Educators.  One of the teachers who spent so many years at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Indianapolis was Arnold Mueller whose hometown was Wittenberg.  Below is his obituary.  It is a wonderful tribute to his life of service as a Lutheran educator.  Thanks to our friend, Mary Dillon, for this obitiuary and the other information included here.  She is a member of this Mueller family and also author of the book  Altenburg which is on sale in our museum.

The obituary below was published September 19, 1954 in an Indianapolis, Indiana paper.

“Faithful teacher, competent children’s chorus director, and talented organist of St. Paul’s for thirty-two years, officiated as organist in the regular Sunday morning service at 10:30 o’clock on September 19th. He had not been sick and seemed to be in unusually good spirits when he left home at about 9:20 A.M. The weather was hot and extremely humid. During the offertory Mr. Mueller grew very pale and as he wiped the perspiration from his brow the music almost faded out completely. However, he rallied with a smile and played to the end of the service. The closing verse which he played was: “Savior, I long to walk closer with Thee.”This final prayer was answered just as he reached his home. As his friend (C.R. Nennert stopped the car, Mr. Mueller, slumped down, his head fell back, and he spoke no more. His friend held his head erect hoping to see Mr. Mueller revive, but a loud moan followed by two heavy gasps ended his earthly toils. Instead of going into his earthly home he entered the eternal mansion which Jesus has prepared for all believers who endure unto the end. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!”

Mary also says that the following information was provided by C. R . Nennert:

Mr. Mueller was born on December 21, 1894, at Wittenberg, Missouri. Mr. Mueller attended St. Paul’s Lutheran School there, from 1901-1909. Later he attended Addison Normal School and Concordia Teachers’ College, River Forest, Illinois, being graduated in 1915. From 1915-1917 Mr. Mueller taught at Christ Lutheran Church, River Rouge, Michigan, and 1917-1920 at Concordia Lutheran School, Detroit, Mich.

Mr. Mueller was installed in St. Paul’s Lutheran in Indianapolis Congregation on April 8, 1923. Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees were secured from Butler University in 1934 and 1944 respectively. He also studied at the Arthur Jordan conservatory of Music.

On August 6, 1933, Mr. Mueller was married to Gladys Hemphill Marsh. She departed this life on November 25, 1945. They had no children.

Mr. Mueller taught the 5th and 6th grades, and served as church organist and children’s chorus director. He faithfully served St. Paul’s for thirty-two years.

His sudden death was a severe shock to all and a great loss to S. Paul’s church and school.

At eleven o’clock on Wednesday, September 22, Dr. H.M. Zorn conducted a brief service at the George Hermann Funeral Home for relatives and intimate friends. Fifteen girls of Mr. Mueller’s class sang his favorite hymn: “For Me to Live Is Jesus”.

The body lay in state in St. Paul’s Church from twelve until two o’clock. During this time members of the various boards served as guards of honor while local Lutheran teachers provided soothing and comforting music.

At 2 o’clock the large funeral procession entered the crowded church as Mr. Theo. Wukasch, teacher of St. John’s Lutheran School and intimate friend of our deceased brother, played, “God’s Time Is Best”.

All the local Lutheran Teachers, Local Lutheran churches, the Church Council, the Boards of Stewards, Elders, Trustees, Deacons, and Christian Education, members of the Ladies’ Aid, P.T.A., Junior Walther League, Senior Walther League, and Representatives of the Federation of Lutheran Churches acted as honorary pall-bearers. Six former pupils of Mr. Mueller served as active pall-bearers: David Bultman, Richard Johnson, Leon Meyer, Jr., Harold Mussmann, Walter Mussmann, Robert Woempner.

The Rev. R.W. Harnack delivered an inspired and comforting sermon on Phillipians 1, 23: “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.” The children’s chorus sang with tear-filled eyes and interspersed with frequent sobs: “The Lord Is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want”.

The assembly sang Hymn No. 619: Jerusalem, Thou City Fair and High, Would God, I Were in Thee!”

While the bells tolled a parting farewell, the large procession of 52 cars wended its way toward Concordia Cemetery, where the earthly remains of the faithful departed brother were solemnly committed to the bosom of the earth by Pastor Harnack, there to await the final summons from on high for the joyful resurrection.

He is survived by his brother, Arthur Mueller, one niece, ten nephews, and a host of mourning friends.”Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth.” (Rev. 14, 13)”

arnold-organ-7-26-1947
Teacher Mueller playing a pump organ

I now am aware that there was a third teacher at St. Paul’s Lutheran School with Perry County roots…….the Teacher Wukasch mentioned above.  Mary (Mueller) Dillon has provided much more information with me about these three gentlemen, and I plan to share some of that documentation on this blog in the future.


One thought on “A Tribute to a Lutheran Teacher

  1. Was there ever an obit written for Teacher Beyer? I am not familiar with newspapers of the area. Would it have been in the Perry news?

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