Goble Funeral Home


Walter O. Mueller

23 March, 192910 January, 2021
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March 23, 1929 to January 10, 2021 at the age of 91

Wally Mueller was born on March 23, 1929, the first day in a long, full and remarkable life. He grew up in Buffalo, NY, the oldest child of Oscar and Anna Mueller, German immigrants who provided him with many enduring legacies; a passion for soccer and German beer, an appreciation for homemade (and all) wine, the love of gathering family around a table of good food, some killer sauerbraten, kuchen and lemon cookie recipes, and the firm knowledge that Beethoven was the greatest composer ever to grace the earth. These live on in his children, grandchildren, and the great-grandchildren he had the great fortune to meet.

He attended college at RPI in Troy, NY earning a degree in electrical engineering and a spot on the All-American soccer team, met a cute co-ed from Russell Sage College named Sally Schek, had the good sense to marry her, and they moved back to western New York to start raising a family. And, because a career in the aerospace industry designing inertial guidance systems that went to the moon wasn’t enough, in his spare time he played soccer at the Buffalo Soccer Club and then began coaching boys youth soccer teams. There is literally no counting the number of uniforms washed, oranges sliced, or miles put on cars in the pursuit of soccer glory. And when life brought him and his family to New Jersey, both his career in the aerospace industry and his volunteer time as the coach of youth soccer teams continued uninterrupted. Before the moving boxes were even unpacked, fields were located, contacts were made and bags of soccer balls appeared in the garage.

When he decided in 1991 that he was done with the rat race, in true Wally fashion, he gave his employer six days’ notice that he was leaving and promptly signed up as head coach of the boys soccer team at Morris Catholic High School, for the first time getting paid to do something he had been doing voluntarily for decades and effectively starting a second career. In the fifteen years he coached there, he transformed the team into a state powerhouse, winning many county, conference and sectional titles and an unmatched seven state titles in a row. In 2009 he was inducted into the New Jersey Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame. Of the hundreds of players that passed through the program, many, many of them developed an enduring passion for soccer, going on to play in college and beyond. For some, they continue the tradition by coaching themselves and others by teaching their own children to love The Beautiful Game. Like the ripples from a stone tossed into a pond, his reach is long and wide and never-ending.

But for all the accomplishments, his essential legacy is his love of life. Family gatherings, a rousing “discussion,” a glass of wine, a good dog to pet, and a sunny day were his greatest pleasures. He often said he was “a Cancun kind of guy.” His much-repeated advice was to “enjoy life. Everything else was just noise.” He is survived by his sister, four children and their spouses, ten grandchildren and their spouses, two great-grandchildren, seven granddogs, and countless people who remember him as coach, mentor and friend. He will be sorely missed by all of them.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, January 14th from 2 – 4PM & 6 – 8PM at Goble Funeral Home 22 Main St., Sparta, NJ 07871. Cremation will be held privately. We ask that friends and family please wear their masks and keep their visit to a minimum.


  • Visitation

    Thursday, 14 January , 2021


Walter O. Mueller

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John Simmonds

18 January 2021

Wally encouraged me to run the Rockaway youth soccer program. Aided and assisted the development of the program. He provided guidance and included his sons Bill and Dave in the program. I expanded into Northwest Wolves Soccer Club, with highly competitive games throughout the New Jersey/New York area and internationally to Canada. Players included Bill Mueller and Kevin Vrabel of Morris Knolls. Wally was keen to advise me when the boys misunderstood some of my enthusiasm of life. He was a great supporter and loved his family dearly. They are all blessed to have had him in their lives, as I in my life.
Jack Simmonds , Castle Rock, CO

Barbara Reilly

17 January 2021

To the Mueller Family,

Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of Wally.
Our family will be forever grateful for the lessons our sons received from Coach Mueller which they applied on the soccer field and in life. So many wonderful memories.

MCHS Seasons 1991-1999

Anthony Cutrone

14 January 2021

To play for Mr. Mueller was truly an honor. I will always have a great amount of love, respect, and admiration for him .
Rangers 68 was our team. I stay in touch with many to this day.
Mr. Mueller made me feel like he was my biggest fan and I couldn't imagine playing for anyone else. He cared and supported his players on and off the pitch. He was tough with a big heart and I will always remember his great laugh. He always gave us great advice. He encouraged us to work hard on our own and to be a good team mate by helping each other out. Practice was very important to Mr. Mueller, he told me at an alumni game (when I was in my 40s) that I was on his "Hall of Fame team". I was taken a back knowing all the great players he had coached , especially Dave. He said because I showed up to practice in a taxi and brought my shovel for indoor soccer but we had to clear the snow off " the mecadum". Ha!
Thanks to Mr. Mueller for impacting so many thru the great sport of soccer. He was a great man.
To the Mueller's I pray for your comfort during this time. I believe your Mom and Dad are together on a bleacher in heaven supporting, watching, and cheering you all on.
Love Antonio Cutrone

Don Perry

13 January 2021

Some of my fondest memories are from playing soccer in Denville, NJ for Mr. Mueller. When I first started playing for him, I was young, raw and head-strong. I’ll never forget him telling me that the game of soccer is the easiest game in the world to play.
In fact, it’s actually quite simple and that I should stop making it so difficult!

The friendships I made playing on that team have endured to this day. Playing alongside his son and my good friend, David, was a great learning experience as Dave was the best player I had ever known.

But the lessons I learned from Mr. Mueller apply well beyond the soccer pitch. Hard-work, tenacity and the value of good preparation are just a few. These are lessons I took with me long after my playing days were over.

Mr. Mueller was by far the most influential coach I ever had.
I am truly grateful for the impact he had on my life.
My sincere condolences to the family.
Rest in Peace Mr. Mueller.

Terry and Ze Adriano de Oliveira

13 January 2021

Coach M has touched a lot of players and their families. He was encouraging and honest. He was greatly respected. Some coaches will yell and scream from the sidelines. When a play didn’t go as he wanted, he would hang his head and shake it. I will always remember the great care he took in bringing Mrs.M to the games. He made sure she had a good seat. Our family will miss him and will always be grateful for his generosity.

Joseph Vendola

13 January 2021

Words can’t express how honored I am to be Wally’s son in law. For some reason he did not object to me marrying his daughter and my wife Diane. As the years went by and our family grew I learned more about who the man was and what he enjoyed in life. From designing key components for the space program to being a NJ Soccer Hall of Fame Coach. After retiring from his first career and starting a new one as head coach of The Morris Catholic Boys Soccer Program you could just see he was in his element. Wally transformed the program into a State power in short order something that would last 15 years. He loved talking about all of his MC teams, games and players. Wally and I would spend hours talking about past games and players he coached along with some adult beverages. You could see the joy he had reminiscing about all of his teams and players.

As a family man Wally enjoyed being surrounded by his family from Fourth of July Summers where 3:00 am swimming thoughts became reality to large Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings, that smile was always never ending.

The Coaching staff in Heaven just got a whole lot better, play on Wally, play on.

Robert Carmagnola

12 January 2021

Dave & Family,

My thoughts and prayers for your loss. Wally was one of the best people to be around, I have fond memories discussing tactics at my time at Morris Catholic and pride in seeing what he did for that program.

Doris Zwarych

12 January 2021

Dave & Family,
So sorry to hear about your Dad. Sending prayers for everyone during this time.

Melanie Schuckers

12 January 2021

Much love to all of Wally's family. I count myself as one of the lucky ones that got to know Wally and Sally during Wally's time at Morris Catholic-what an amazing man and talented soccer coach. I will never forget him. Rest in Peace Wally.

Kevin Vrabel

12 January 2021

As a young high-schooler, my love for soccer originated in the Mueller household watching Soccer Made in Germany on channel 13 with Wally Mueller as our guide.
My best friend Bill, young brother Dave, Fritz, hard pretzels and root beer, made each Saturday a memorable one.
I had never played organized soccer before and I landed in the lap of one the greatest coaches I know who taught me it was the simplicity of the game that made it so beautiful.
More importantly, I found a second family, that loved and supported me as my own.
As a player, colleague and friend of the family, I drew the ire of this man, more times than I care to recall.
However, my forever lasting image of Wally will be him moving across his living room, imaginary baton in hand, "conducting" Beethoven's Fifth, eyes closed, with a broad smile on his face.
But remembered forever.