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Pull for Papa

Jim Mueller’s family continues to honor his legacy by celebrating the life that he gave to others and inspiring others to do the same, all while bringing a community together.

James (Jim) Mueller was a man with many hats: a loving, generous, funny, and smart man along with being a husband, devoted father and (grand)papa. He truly believed he never worked a day in life because he loved what he did. Above all, he treasured spending time with his wife (and high school sweetheart) Beth, three children and seven grandchildren.

“Small towns and close communities are because of people like Jim and families like the Muellers.”

– Mueller family friend
His granddaughters enjoyed their “workout” time with Papa by reading one of his books.

Anyone that knew of the Mueller family can describe them as a close-knit family with big hearts and perseverance for their community. When you spend time with them, it is obvious how much they enjoy one another’s company.

Alison, Jim’s daughter, remembers the time that her dad would spend with her daughters, Riley and Mae. He loved to play and do puzzles with them, to “workout” with them which frequently meant that he would snuggle on the couch with them and read a book (his book, not kids’ books). The girls enjoyed their “workout” time with Papa.

The Final Moments

On December 7, 2017, Papa Jim died from a tragic accident at work. The news paralyzed his family by shock and grief. As you could imagine, finding words amidst indescribable loss was impossible. LifeSource’s team was there to support the family throughout the entire organ donation process.

“The staff at LifeSource was amazingly respectful, compassionate, and supportive during an extraordinarily difficult time for our family.”

– Alison (Mueller) Robertson, daughter

In the operating room before organ recovery, the surgical team always takes a moment of silence and honors the donor by reading aloud a tribute in the words of his or her loved ones. Below is beautiful tribute from Jim’s family:

Because of Jim and his family’s selfless decision to say YES to donation, three people received the holiday miracle they had been waiting for. Jim saved these stranger’s lives by donating his liver, kidneys and heart; In addition, he donated corneas and tissue, saving countless others.

Together, Let’s Pull for Papa

From left to right: Jim’s daughter, Alison Robertson, Amy Martin, LifeSource Donation Coordinator who worked with the family at the time of Jim’s donation and Jim’s wife, Beth Mueller at the first Pull for Papa event.

Around the one-year anniversary of Jim’s death, the Mueller family wanted to do something special for their father, his amazing gifts and the support they received from LifeSource’s team. And, with this energy, Pull for Papa – a now-annual event in Jim’s memory – laid the groundwork to raise funds and awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation.

On September 29, 2018, family and friends of James (Jim) Mueller gathered at the Wild Marsh Sporting Clays, just outside of Clearwater, Minn., to take part in an activity that Jim loved – enjoying the great outdoors with people who meant the most to him. Despite the crisp fall temperatures, this was a day for good-natured competition, supporting Jim’s family in their grief, and sharing the importance and the ultimate healing impact of organ donation for donor families as well as transplant recipients.

In the spring of 2019, the family connected with Allen, who received Jim’s heart, and they traveled to Indiana in early August to meet in person for the first time. They learned Allen’s transplant surgery was very difficult – receiving 55 units of blood products (e.g. red cells, platelets, plasma) – with a long recovery, but he’s doing fine now.

Granddaughters Riley and Mae celebrate Blue and Green Day!

Because of that connection, Alison was inspired to host a mobile blood drive in partnership with Memorial Blood Center during the second Pull for Papa event in September 2019. The initial goal for this mobile blood drive was to reach 24 units of blood; they exceeded the goal and collected 37 units!

In the first two years of Pull for Papa, the Mueller family generated more than $27,000 and hosted two successful blood drives since! Alison, her siblings and her mom continue to honor their husband, father, and papa’s legacy of life that he gave to others while inspiring others to do the same.

The “roots” of this Mueller family are deep and strong, and together they are inspiring others through their advocacy – a true testament of the love and legacy of Jim Mueller.


About Fundraising for LifeSource

These proceeds directly impact the education about donation in our local communities and support donor families similar to the Muellers throughout the grieving process – for as long as they need. To learn more about hosting a fundraiser or other ways to support our cause, visit https://www.life-source.org/giving.