MUELLER, WERNER DIEBOLT (17 August 1925 – 10 September 2001) was a lawyer specializing in trusts, an avid outdoorsman, and philanthropist.   Born in Cleveland to Omar Eugene Mueller and Elsa Louise Weideman Mueller, Werner was a descendant of JACOB MUELLER, a noted German émigré who had been active in the Revolution of 1848 and later settled in Cleveland.

He received his elementary education in CLEVELAND HEIGHTS and then attended UNIVERSITY SCHOOL.    His collegiate education at Harvard ended after one semester when he was drafted into the Army during World War II in which he served as part of a 15-man medical corps unit.  One of his comrades was Frank Rudy, who would later achieve fame as the inventor of the Nike “Air” sole.    After the German surrender, Mueller remained in Heidelberg as a member of the American Occupation Army.

Upon his return to the United States, Mueller completed his undergraduate work at Harvard in 1949 and went on to Harvard Law School, completing his degree in 1954.

Returning to Cleveland he began a notable career in trusts and estate planning, working at Central National and UNION COMMERCE banks from 1958-1973, and then moving on to become a partner in Nicola, Gudbranson, Mueller and Coper in 1974, from which he retired in 1990.

Mueller’s interests went well beyond the business world.  He was a hunter and fisherman and enjoyed the outdoors, whether at his home in Geauga County or in areas throughout the United States.   His love of his dogs was legendary – and he could individually identify some of the fish in the pond at his Music Street home in Geauga.

He had a passionate interest in his family’s history.  That led him to explore the wider area of immigration history.   His philanthropy supported projects and organizations that mirrored his intellectual curiosity.   He was an early supporter of the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History project at CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY; provided funds to support the publication program at the WESTERN RESERVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY, and endowed (along with Nora Krieger), the Krieger-Mueller professorship which created a position that spanned both the University and the Historical Society.  

Mueller married MARGARET CROWL REID, the sister of one his childhood friends (Jim Reid) on September 6, 1954.  They had five children, Frederick, Lydia, John, Felice, and Omar.

Werner Mueller was buried in RIVERSIDE CEMETERY in Cleveland.

John J. Grabowski

Updated 18 February 2023


Mueller, Werner D. and Gardiner, Duncan Buchanan.   To Cleveland and Away:  Of Muellers, Reids, and Others.  Novelty, OH 1993

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