Friday, March 28, 2014

Squirrels and Sadness

My other grandma sent me this article on Grandma Ginny today. At first I was worried by the headline. I thought it would insinuate that her entire legacy had to do with squirrels. It was certainly a funny part of her later decades, but not the story of her life by any means. Thankfully, the article was more well-rounded and it made me tear up. I'm more sad than ever that Grandma Ginny won't be here in June to "scoop up" her fifth great-grandchild. She did love babies, and I would've loved to know more about her parenting philosophies!

Since this blog is my own version of a scrapbook, I wanted to copy the article here. It appeared in the Omaha World Herald today and was written by Kevin Cole:

Squirrels were the bane of Virginia Muelleman and her beloved vegetable garden, but she could not bring herself to harm the little critters.
“My mom would trap them and take them two miles away to be released,” said her son Robert Muelleman of Omaha. “She always released them in the same place, near water, so they would have something to drink. She also wanted to release them in the same area in case she had already trapped their relatives.”

Bushy-tailed reunions were likely because she trapped and released more than 500 squirrels, her son said. When she reached the 400 mark, Virginia Muelleman's children gave her a squirrel piƱata for her birthday.

The soft-hearted Muelleman, 85, died March 20 at the Nebraska Medical Center with her family around her. She had been critically injured March 17 in a fire at her home.

A Fire Department spokesman said Wednesday that the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
A funeral Mass was celebrated Monday at Holy Name Catholic Church. The parish is where the Muelleman children attended school and Muelleman had worked as a secretary and bookkeeper.

Virginia Fromm grew up the youngest of seven children in Defiance, Iowa. She met her husband, Joseph Muelleman, in Omaha, where she had found a job with Union Pacific Railroad.

The couple were married for 54 years until his death in 2006. The Muellemans raised five children and had 16 grandchildren and four great grandchildren, with another one on the way.

Robert Muelleman, chairman of the department of emergency medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said his mother “scooped up” the grandchildren and watched over them with great tenderness.

He called his mother “one of the smartest people I ever knew,” even though she never got the chance to go to college.

“She was constantly reading, and if she didn't know something, she got on the computer and looked it up,” he said. “She had a very curious mind.”

Following her husband's death, she traveled extensively. She especially enjoyed a trip to Europe to see several religious shrines with her son Peter Muelleman.

Other survivors include daughters Carol George, Janet Cox and Joan Green, all of Omaha.

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