Frederick “Larry” Lorenz Muller Jr., Ph.D., age 77 years, of East Amwell Township, NJ, died on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at Hunterdon Medical Center, Raritan Township, NJ, surrounded by his loving family.
Born in Trenton, NJ, January 31, 1940, he was the son of the late Frederick Lorenz Muller Sr. and Mildred Frances Walker Muller. Raised in Westfield, NJ, Larry had lived in Ringoes for the past thirty-four years, having formerly lived in Plainfield and Cranford, NJ.
A 1957 graduate of Westfield High School, he then attained his B.A. in Psychology and English from Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA in 1961. While at Gettysburg, Larry was a proud member of Sigma Chi social fraternity, earning the nickname, “Beowolf.” He also was a member of the Kappa Phi Kappa honorary fraternity.
Following graduation, Larry became a teacher in every sense of the word. For him, teaching was not a job, but rather his passion and in the fall of 1966 he came to New Providence High School where he began teaching English and Journalism. For the next thirty-nine years, he would not only educate students on items from Shakespeare to writing, but he would be a guiding role-model for anyone from the valedictorian to the person who struggled with their studies. Larry was one of those teachers who students would want as their teacher because although tough, Larry tried to make learning enjoyable and sought that each student lived up to and hopefully exceeded his or her potential.
He was also the advisor to the school newspaper, The Providential. The Courier News named him as Journalism teacher of the Year and The Newspaper Fund of the Dow Jones selected him as one of the fourteen top journalism teachers in the United States during his time at NPHS.
Larry was very involved in all aspects of school life and worked quite a bit with the athletic extracurricular programs of the school doing everything from being a ticket collector at games, officiating at track meets, timing wrestling matches and eventually, becoming the “Voice of the Pioneers,” when he took over the announcing duties at all the major games. Larry was quoted as saying, “I love the game; watching the kids strive for their best is its own reward.” His enjoying watching his students work hard to achieve their dreams was emulated by his own actions as during this time he also went to Rutgers University where he earned his M.A. in Geology and his Ph.D. in Micro-Paleontology.
1961 was an important year for several reason as Larry not only graduated college, but on November 25 he married his beloved wife, “Teddy,” at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Newark, NJ. Their union of fifty-five years is an inspiration to anyone who knew them. He was fiercely loving and always her great protector as well as the proud, supportive and amazing father of his four sons. A patriotic American, his honesty, gentleness, and leadership are what his family will remember and celebrate most about his life.
Some of his other activities included running the summer-camp program for the YMCA at Fairview Lake in Stillwater, NJ; advising the NPHS Chess Team, collecting rocks, stamps and all sorts of books, and being a Civil War buff and antique collector. His interests spawned many disciplines and he always strove to better his understanding of all the activities he was taking part in.
One of his favorite activities, was annually on his birthday weekend, to volunteer at the Rutgers Geological Museum helping to identify rocks and minerals for the public, both adults and children. He loved to help impart his passions for learning to all who were interested.
In addition to his parents, this truly honest and noble man of character and heart was preceded in death by a cherished son, Nicholas Peter Robert “Rob” Muller in 2001; a brother, Robert Francis Muller, M.D.; and a sister, Elizabeth Metsger.
Surviving are his wife, Theodota “Teddy” Vanta Meligakes Muller; his children, combat veteran Frederick Lorenz “Derick” Muller III and his wife, Diana, of Pocono, PA, decorated combat veteran John James Eugene “Jimmy” Muller of East Amwell Township, NJ, Socrates Thomas Christopher “Chris” Muller and his wife, Jennifer, of Ottsville, PA; his daughter-in-law, Sandra Gibson Muller of Somerville, NJ; his grandchildren, Teigan Hera, Socrates Chance Nicholas Muller, Morgan Muller, and Lindsey and husband, Bill Owens and Mallory and husband, Christopher LaPlant; his great grandchildren, Wyatt and Elliott Owens and Bryn, Bristol and Brody LaPlant; his siblings, Lynn Francis Muller and his wife, Susan and Katrina Muller Brundige and her husband, Robert; his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Thomas Socrates Vanta Meligakes, Eugenia and husband, Rolf Johnson, Nicholas Anthony Meligakes II and Sandra and husband, Jay Pottieger; several nieces, nephews and cousins; and many friends and loyal and devoted students.
Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 38 State Highway 31, Flemington, NJ. There will be a celebration of Larry’s life in the next several months and the date, time and location will be updated here when finalized.
Everyone is invited to visit Larry’s permanent memorial site at www.wrightfamily.com to send a public or private message of condolence and to share stories and photographs of his life.