May 22, 1926 – September 4, 2019 – (age 93)
Walter Frank Mueggler, 93, left this world on September 4, 2019 in the arms of his daughter Rosie. All his children, as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, had been privileged to spend time with him over the past few months as he gracefully faded from this life.
Walt was born in Enterprise, Oregon on May 22, 1926 to Paul and Marie Mueggler, immigrants from Switzerland. He spent his younger years in Caldwell, Idaho helping his father in the family bakery. He served briefly in the Air Force during World War II. After the war, not wanting to take up the baking profession, he earned a BS in Forestry from the University of Idaho. He followed that with a MS in Ecology from University of Wisconsin and a PhD in Plant Ecology from Duke University.
Along the way he married Rosalie Blossman Ryan, a beautiful young lady from Houston, Texas and had the first two of an eventual six children. The small family moved to Bozeman, Montana in 1961 for Walt to take a plant ecologist position with the research branch of the Forest Service. In 1974 the family of eight moved to Logan when he accepted a principal plant ecologist position with the Rocky Mountain Research Station.
Walt retired from the Forest Service in 1988 after a long and very productive career that focused on the ecology of mountain grasslands and aspen ecosystems. After retirement, he volunteered with his former lab on a regular basis for almost 20 years, continuing to analyze data and write and edit research papers. In 2006, because of his invaluable contributions to the field of aspen ecology, the Forest Service designated a 1,268-acre portion of the Mt. Olympus Wilderness in Big Cottonwood Canyon the Walter F. Mueggler – Butler Fork Research Natural Area.
Walter is survived by his sister Rose Marie Price (Don) of Caldwell, Idaho and five children: Rosalie Erni (Konrad) of Logan, Michelle Mueggler (Ed Stege) of Leadville, Colorado, Erik Mueggler (Ashley Lebner) of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Angela Gutermuth (Brandt) of Weaverville, California and Laura McCabe of Mazama, Washington, and by 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Rosalie Mueggler, his son Karl Mueggler, son-in-law Sean McCabe, brother Roy ( Mary Jo) Mueggler and sister Donna Mueggler.
A visitation will be held at 10:00am Saturday, September 14, 2019 followed by a funeral Mass at 11:00am at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church, 725 South 250 East, Hyde Park, Utah. Burial at the Logan Cemetery will immediately follow, with a celebration luncheon for all at St. Thomas Aquinas social hall.
The family offers heartfelt thanks to Sunshine Hospice without whom this journey would have been much more difficult. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Walter may be made to Sunshine Hospice, 209 South 300 West, Logan, Utah 84321.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family online at www.allenmortuaries.net.