Steven James Mueller
Steven James Mueller, 55, of Ballinger went to meet his heavenly father Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012. His final days were spent surrounded by family.Steve was born March 23, 1956 to James and Rose (Mokry) Mueller in Ballinger where he spent the majority of his life. He was a 1974 graduate of Ballinger High School. He attended business college and worked at Mueller Supply Company. In 1977 he married the love of his life, Tammie Gray, and the couple had two daughters.Following his family’s tradition, he spent his entire career in the steel business. In 1993 he and his brother decided to become partners and opened their own steel business, Sweetwater Steel Company in Sweetwater, Texas, and they later expanded with a branch store in Early, Texas. Steve was extremely pleased but humbled about his and his brother’s accomplishments in business. Anyone who has had a business relationship with them will tell you there are no better or more honest, trustworthy individuals with which to do business. His employees will tell you that Steve was not their boss but their friend.Steve loved the outdoors. Since he was a small boy he had a passion for hunting and fishing. He came a long way from catching frogs as a child on the banks of Hippy Hollow at Valley Creek to traveling abroad for hunting expeditions. He had been to New Mexico for elk hunting, to Mexico for birds, to Alaska where he got a prize brown bear, and to Canada for caribou. He fished anywhere he could, from his own stock tanks, Elm Creek or the lake. He enjoyed his yearly fishing trips to the coast with his father, brother and brothers-in-law. He had the fishing experience of a lifetime with his father-in-law, Herchel, and nephew, Cooter, when they caught an unbelievable amount of catfish, the largest weighing approximately 85 pounds. In 2008 Steve returned to Ballinger, preparing for retirement. He and Tammie purchased ranch land and built a home. With the help of their nephew, Cooter, and son-in-law, Kelly, Steve and Tammie spent the final years of his life working on the land and tending his hobby of raising whitetail deer and many other ranch animals. Recently they decided to name their land The Slow Coach Ranch.Steve was truly an amazing individual and wonderful father and grandfather. There was not a single child who ever disliked him. He had a loving, tender soul that touched anyone he ever met. His grandchildren were blessed by his loving affection and generosity in their lives. He cherished his family above all, and he loved his faith.He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, V. J. and Annie Mokry; paternal grandparents, Walter and Mary Mueller; and sister-in-law, Anna Shiller Mueller.Steve is survived by his wife, Tammie Gray Mueller of Ballinger; his daughters, Amanda King and husband, Kelly, and Angela Reed and husband, Jalon, all of Ballinger; his grandchildren, Kaylin, Kamrin, Kati, and Keri King, as well as Jaton and Annabelle Reed. Also surviving are his parents, James and Rose Mueller; brother, David Mueller; sisters and brothers-in-law, Peggy and Jimmy Freeman, Christine and Rocky Thomas, Nancy and Mark Tucker, Janet Mueller, Judy and Mark Moffett, Kerri and Walt May, Gina and Scott Budd.Rosary was recited Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012 at 7 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in Ballinger. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 10 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 20, 2012, at St. Mary Catholic Church. Interment followed at Old Runnels Cemetery. Pallbearers were Herchel Harrell, Mario Medrano, Rex Cook, Windell King, Steve Halfmann and Thomas Lloyd. Honorary pallbearers were Hobie Bolin, Rex Lowry, and Vicente Medrano.The family suggests that memorial donations be made to the charity of one’s choice.Arrangements were with Lange Funeral Home of Ballinger. Guests may register at ballingerfuneralhom.com.