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Paynesville Press - Aug.22, 2001

Mueller named outstanding senior

By Linda Stelling

Helen Mueller Helen Mueller would have objected if she had known she was nominated for the Kandiyohi County Outstanding Senior Citizen Award.

On Thursday, Aug. 9, Mueller was named the Kandiyohi County Outstanding Senior Woman during the Kandiyohi County Fair.

"I was totally surprised," said Mueller, who has lived in Regal for nearly 20 years.

A member of the Paynesville Harmonica Band, she was at the county fair as part of the senior citizen entertainment program.

Mueller didn't know of her nomination until the emcee read the winner's attributes. "When he started talking about her work at St. Anthony Catholic Church, it dawned on me: I was the winner," she said.

Mueller will be attending the Minnesota State Fair on Thursday, Aug. 30, when all the county winners will be recognized.

Born in Spring Hill and raised in Melrose, Mueller has been a resident of Regal since 1982. Living at the tip of Kandiyohi County, she is active in two senior centers in Belgrade and Paynesville.

Every Tuesday, Mueller can be found in Belgrade helping quilt or taking someone shopping or to a medical appointment. "I help out where I'm needed," she said. She also does craft projects, activity proj- ects, and sews baby blankets for the county nursery in Belgrade.

Mueller started the senior dining program at the Belgrade Senior Center in 1979 and is still the coordinator. She also is facilitator for weekly craft projects at the center.

At the Paynesville Area Center, Mueller serves on the senior board and site council board. She is the memorial chairperson and helps with monthly social activities.

Mueller is also responsible for taking bookings for the Harmonica Band. The senior citizen band performs about four times a month at nursing homes, area senior centers, and in parades. They meet every Monday to practice.

A member of St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Regal, Mueller is an eucharistic minister, teaches confirmation, is a stewardship program leader, and a member of the women's mission group. She resigned last year after teaching CCD classes for 18 years.

Before moving to Regal, Mueller was the CCD coordinator for the Lake Henry parish for 15 years.

She is also an active member in the Daughters of Isabella in Paynesville.

Within her community of Regal, Mueller is a volunteer driver, taking neighbors to dentist appointments or to the senior center for lunch. She also helps with social and civic affairs.

Mueller has nine children, 30 grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters.

In her leisure time, Mueller enjoys reading, sewing, and tending her garden.



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