Mueller on her 111th birthday
September 20, 1896|
|Died||November 5, 2007
Stratford, Connecticut, United States
|Madison, Connecticut, United States|
|Spouse(s)||Oscar J. Mueller|
Marie-Rose 'Muzzy' Schleret Mueller (September 20, 1896 – November 5, 2007) was an American supercentenarian and, at age 111, she was one of the 50 oldest verified living people in the world, having been the second-oldest person in Connecticut until she died (behind only fellow immigrant Elizabeth Stefan, who died at 112 in 2008 and was born in Hungary).
When she was born to the late Mathias and Marie Schleret, houses were lit by oil lamps, and horses and trains were the main methods of transportation. She was born in Beaucourt, Territoire de Belfort, France, right on the border between France and Germany (the Alsace was a part of Germany upon other from 1871 to the Treaty of Versailles), however she grew up in the small French section of that region. The tenth of eleven children, she grew up knowing both German and French.
Her father was a carriage maker who was just beginning to start selling automobiles when Mueller was a small child. Indeed he had one of the first driver's licenses in France.
According to her grandson, fearing the upcoming war, she fled France in 1913, and eventually relocated to New York City. In 1924, she married Swiss-born Oscar J. Mueller.
In the first few years of her marriage she worked occasional odd jobs, including working as a nanny for a New York congressman.
Her husband took whatever jobs he could find, including working as a bartender on and off, a lot of the time in Florida, where the family often moved to during the winter in order to find work. During the Second World War, he found work in the war driven factories of Bridgeport, Connecticut. For many years the couple lived in the city's East Side, near the General Electric plant. Oscar died in 1989, at the age of 90.
The couple had three daughters (Monique, born in 1927; Evelyn, born in 1929; and Renee, 1940–2008), the first two of whom are still living near where she lived in Connecticut today, while Renee is buried next to her parents in West Cemetery in Madison, Connecticut. At the time of Marie-Rose's death she also had six grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Mueller was living with her grandson, John Dederer, and his family in Stratford, Connecticut, into whose care she moved in 1999, at age 103, her husband having died a few years before. While her mind was not as good as it once was, she could still speak three languages fluently (French, German and English), and graciously greeted visitors.
Her health was extremely good for someone of her advanced age, as shown partly by the fact that she was well enough to not need to be in a nursing home or medical care facility as many supercentenarians do (though other recent examples of this are Maria de Jesus, a Portuguese supercentenarian, and María Capovilla, a former world's oldest person from Ecuador). Her hair was thick and gray, and she didn't need to bother taking prescriptions day after day.
She was still sharp and her fingers were still capable of threading needles and doing the needlework she enjoyed passing the time doing. Most of all, she loved to read magazines. According to her family, she spent a lot of her time gently and slowly thumbing through one of the many magazines she kept by her easy chair. When she was not doing that or needlework, she often sat in her chair and looked out through the window at the picturesque wooded backyard.
There was no TV in her room. Dederer said: "At nursing homes, they dump them in front of the idiot box." She definitely appeared to enjoy her quiet everyday regime and her life. She had become somewhat of a local symbol, as Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell declared her last birthday the Fourth Annual Marie Rose "Muzzy" Mueller Day. She died peacefully in her sleep.