Joan Mueller, who worked for manyyears at Pizza Village in Montauk, where she greeted customers with a joke, a smile, and her contagious laugh, died last Thursday at the Treasure Coast Hospice House in Port St. Lucie, Fla. She was 76 and had pulmonary disease.
“She had a great sense of humor and loved to play practical jokes,” her daughters said. She was “small in stature but had a huge heart. She was always there to lend a hand or help a friend. She was a social butterfly who loved people and especially loved hosting parties were she could cook for a crowd.”
Ms. Mueller was born in Queens on April 11, 1935, to Anthony Paradiso and the former Pauline Ripo. She grew up there and attended Andrew Jackson High School, where she met Ed Mueller. They married in 1956. The couple took a wedding trip to Montauk and decided to make the South Fork their home.
After her husband died in 1979, Ms. Mueller took the reins of his business, Ed Mueller and Sons Construction. She worked side by side with her boys, Edward and Michael Mueller.
She was a member of the Montauk Fire Department’s Ladies Auxiliary and the Altar Society and choir at St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church. She was also an officer of the church’s school. Her daughter Donna Pflueger recently discovered that her mother was a founding member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Montauk Friends of Erin.
After Michael Mueller’s death in 1991, she sold the family business and moved to Port St. Lucie to be near her other children.
In Florida, Ms. Mueller was a member of the Port St. Lucie Elks Lodge and of the Footlites, a tap-dancing group of senior citizens that performed in Europe as well as the U.S.
Ms. Mueller also painted, and her works decorate the houses of many friends and family members.
In addition to Ms. Pflueger of Cocoa Beach, Fla., Ms. Mueller is survived by another daughter, Doreen Sullivan of Orlando, Fla., a son, Edward Mueller of Port St. Lucie, and four grandchildren.
A celebration of Ms. Mueller’s life will take place at the Elks Lodge in Port St. Lucie on June 25 at 11 a.m. A memorial service in Montauk is planned for July.
Memorial contributions have been suggested to the Montauk Fire Department, 12 Flamingo Road, the Montauk Playhouse Community Center Foundation, 240 Edgemere Street, or St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church, 55 Etna Avenue, Montauk 11954.