Catherine Mueller-Bridgman, 86, entered her eternal rest on Aug. 28, 2020, in Oklahoma City.
She was born on Jan. 5, 1934, at the family home in Palmyra, Mo., to William and Esther (Pflantz) Bode.
Catherine graduated in 1951 from Palmyra High School and attended Concordia Teacher’s College where she received her B.S. degree in elementary education. Her teaching call was to Immanuel Lutheran School in Albuquerque, N.M., where she taught third and fourth grades.
It was there that she met her future husband, John Mueller, who was stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base. They were married in August 1957 and were blessed with two daughters, Ellen Elizabeth and Barbara Anne.
Her love for education led her to continue her studies at the University of New Mexico while she was raising her children.
Catherine’s other interests included reading, writing and xeriscaping, which is rock landscaping prominent in the Southwest. She authored and self-published several books, including Brothers in Battle, The Forgotten People, Through the Church Window and Be Aware Be Alert.
During the early 1980s, she was very involved in resettling Southeast Asian refugees from Cambodia and Vietnam. She was instrumental in helping them adjust to our culture as well as helping them find employment and housing. Beneath her high school picture was written “to be a social worker” which was a prophecy that came true to some extent.
She is survived by her daughters, Ellen Polotko and Barbara (Paul) Newman; grandchildren, Ivan Polotko and Jack and Kaylee Newman; her brother-in-law, Thomas Mueller; and many nieces and nephews as well as her loving relatives on the Bode and Pflantz sides of her family.
Catherine was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Sandra Moss; her husband of 36 years, John Arthur Mueller; and her second husband Samuel “Josh” Bridgman, a childhood friend, with whom she reconnected with and was blessed to share 15 years together.
There was a family gathering at The Santa Fe National Cemetery where she was laid to rest with her husband, John.
Memorials may be given to your favorite mission or to the Palmyra Nutrition Center.
Funeral arrangements were made by Daniels Family Funeral Services.