Cover photo for Richard Palmer Mueller, Jr.'s Obituary
Richard Palmer Mueller, Jr. Profile Photo

Richard Palmer Mueller, Jr.

May 15, 1949 — January 6, 2024

Long Beach

Richard Palmer Mueller, Jr.

Richard P. Mueller Jr. passed away peacefully on January 6th, 2024, at 3:36 PM in Gulfport, MS, with his family at his side. Richard P. Mueller Jr. was born on May 15th of 1949 in Lakewood, Ohio.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Richard P. Mueller and Rosemary Allen Mueller; brother-in-law, Walter Baas, brother-in-law, Donald Holliday, Jr.; and nephew David Baas.

He was survived by his high school sweetheart and loving wife of 54 years, Linda Marie Mueller; their children, Richard Mueller, III (Stephenie) of Raleigh, NC, Kathy Barclay (Thom) of Atlanta, GA, Chris Mueller (Karrie) of Tampa, FL, and Mike Mueller of Tampa, FL; siblings, Carol Whitworth (Tom Leach) of Portland, OR, Shirley Baas (Walter, deceased) of Mitchell, SD, Phyllis Mueller (Glenn Warren) of Idyllwild, CA, Glenn Mueller of Pass Christian, MS, Rudy Mueller (Diane) of Lakewood, NY; sister-in-law, Patrice Holliday; brother-in-law, Tom Holliday (Ann); former sister-in-law, Val Mueller; aunt, Shirley Duff of Cincinnati, OH; seven grandchildren, Marc and Chris Barclay, Alex, Emma, Lily, Luke, and Alice Mueller; many nieces, nephews, and a host of long-time friends.

At an early age, Richard developed a love for creating model layouts and collecting model trains. In high school, he developed a love for pizza stores while working at his uncle Harry’s Pizza King in Ohio.

Richard began working at Domino’s Pizza in 1967 while a student at the University of Michigan. He delivered pizza for a year before beginning to work inside the store and then dropped out of college to pursue his career at Domino’s. Richard would sometimes give the Founder of Domino’s Pizza, Inc., Mr. Tom Monaghan, suggestions on how to make the stores better.

In partnership with Tom Monaghan, Richard opened 60 Domino’s Pizza stores in Ohio before age 30, and then merged with Domino’s to become 10% owner and Vice President of Operations. In 1981, Richard sold his stock in Domino’s Pizza, Inc. and received franchise development rights to the states of Mississippi and Louisiana. Richard asked his brother Glenn to join him in founding RPM Pizza, LLC in 1981, and together with brother-in-law Tom Holliday they opened hundreds of stores, operating the largest Domino’s franchise in the United States for over four decades.

Also in 1981, Tom Monaghan made a $50,000 bet with Richard that he would not be able to run a marathon within a year of the bet. Richard trained hard, lost 100 pounds, and finished the Baton Rouge marathon by year end. He put that $50,000 into his Domino’s Pizza franchise.

In 2001 Richard and wife Linda purchased Castle Farms in Charlevoix, Michigan, which is now a multiple award-winning wedding destination and event venue housed in 100-year-old stone French chateau style buildings that Richard and Linda lovingly restored. www.castlefarms.com.

In 2003, Richard retired from RPM Pizza and Glenn became the official franchisee with Richard Mueller III, as Chief Operating Officer. In 2005 Richard returned to help RPM Pizza with recovery from Hurricane Katrina and in 2008 returned to help with marketing.

In 2022, Richard opened Hungry Ducks Farm in Charlevoix, Michigan after restoring the 100-year-old wood barns. It is a non-profit interactive petting farm with farm animals, a carousel, a tram ride, and historical collections of antique toys and dolls, doll houses, quilts, and more. www.hungryducksfarm.com.

In 2023, Richard and Glenn founded TrainTastic in Gulfport, MS as a non-profit organization -- the largest and most exciting Model Train Museum in the U.S. with large, scenic, and interactive model railroad exhibits, riding trains, activities, party rooms, and a playground. www.traintastic.com.

Of special interest, Richard was a Life Master Bridge player. He was a collector of vintage pull toys, and accumulated one of the largest antique pull-toy collections in the world. He was a member of the Antique Toy Collectors of America.

Richard brought an unparalleled passion to everything he did and cherished his time with family and friends. His special love for Domino’s and RPM Pizza included countless innovative ideas that he brought to life, which reflect his remarkable dedication and vision. He fostered a sense of community and inclusion wherever he went and faced every challenge with unwavering determination. Remember to hug your loved ones and never stop playing.

Services will be Saturday, January 13, 2024 at St. James Church in Gulfport, MS with visitation from 9:30-11:30 AM and the service at 11:30 AM.  

There is limited parking at St. James Catholic Church and The Traintastic Museum. For your convenience, we have arranged for guests to park at The Grand Centennial Hotel on Hwy 90 in Gulfport where shuttle service will be provided beginning at 9:30 a.m on Saturday morning. The Shuttle service will be available from Centennial Plaza to St. James and to Traintastic throughout the day.

 

Interment will be at a later date in Charlevoix, Michigan.

The service will be livestreamed at https://vimeo.com/event/4014879

In lieu of flowers, Linda and the family would prefer donations be made to their favorite charitable organizations: TrainTastic (the Designated Richard Mueller FUN Fund) www.traintastic.com, to Hungry Ducks Farm www.hungryducksfarm.com, or to Grace Lutheran Church in Long Beach, MS https://gracelongbeach.com.

 https://rpmpizza.box.com/s/ao9traisovxmy2gat76vwusjqzrzhd1w 


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Past Services

Hotel information provided by family

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Ends at 11:45 pm (Central time)

Grand Centennial Hotel
228-206-7990
Reservation code: RPMPIZZA!
Available 1/9/24~1/14/24

Additional hotel Hilton https://www.hilton.com/en/attend-my-event/muellerfriendsandfamilygpt/

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Visitation

Saturday, January 13, 2024

9:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

St. James Catholic Church

366 Cowan Rd, Gulfport, MS 39507

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Funeral Service

Saturday, January 13, 2024

11:30am - 12:30 pm (Central time)

St. James Catholic Church

366 Cowan Rd, Gulfport, MS 39507

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, January 13, 2024

1:00 - 5:00 pm (Central time)

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