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Pauline B. Muller always said she was a rich… woman. She considered family her gold. Pauline’s years were rich and full of life.
Pauline was born on a farm near Sibley, IA to William and Henrietta (Rosenboom) Bothof on December 9, 1927 and as the story goes she was the fourth daughter and her parents ran out of names, so she had no middle name. Three more sisters followed. Affectionately called Polly by many close to her, she and her sister Harriet were often referred to as the “Glue Sisters” as they seemed always stuck together!
The family ran a gas station called Smiling Bill’s Service just outside of Little Rock and part of the structure remains today right on Highway 9. Pauline was quite proud of her father and he taught her how to do the books for the station and from that her love of math emerged. She attended school in Little Rock for 9 years until the early death of her father at which time the family moved to Sheldon where she graduated from High School.
Being from a family of seven girls no father they all went to work at an early age. Pauline went to work for a Dr. Brady cleaning his house and at local hotel folding towels and sheets. The Dr. and his wife so enjoyed Pauline they paid her extra so she could give up working at the hotel and only work for them so she could remain in school activities of choir and band.
After high school she worked for Northwestern Bell (Ma Bell) in Sheldon and attended Beauty school graduating in 1948 in Sioux City.
After transferring to Algona and out on a dance floor in Algona Pauline met her life dance partner George Muller and they were married six months later on April 3rd, 1951 in Whittemore Iowa. It was at this time she gave herself a middle name “B”. They lived in Algona then Sheldon before moving in 1966 to Spencer Iowa with their four children, Pamela, Paula, William and Jay. Pauline and George made their home on 6th Street SW. Together with the neighbors they made this little street the greatest childhood experience for all the children growing up there.
Pauline held many different jobs while in Spencer and always said she gained great experiences from them all. She was a Toy Department clerk at Coast to Coast and a seamstress at Aalfs Manufacturing, eventually becoming a supervisor before going back to Northwest Telephone. In 1980 AT&T closed the Spencer office and George and Pauline moved to Ankeny to bridge her service. It was there that the pair took up crafting by making and selling their handiwork at craft shows in the Des Moines area. At retirement they returned to Spencer.
Pauline was a member of the Women of the Moose, Hospital Auxiliary, Legion Auxiliary and AARP. She helped with the blood mobile and donated for several years claiming they always wanted her type O blood. Pauline loved to talk so she volunteered to call for many organizations including her beloved Democrats. And she loved to dance. As one of the Founders of the COD Dance Club bringing bands and music to the area to Come Out & Dance! She was a Polka Queen. She was a Girl Scout Leader and a Den Mother. Pauline loved to sew, crochet, knit and paint. Everyone in the family has been a recipient of her creations. Large Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls and crochet teddy bears adorn many of her grandchildren’s rooms. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren will always remember playing Wahoo, crazy 8s, Cribbage, making Kick the Can Ice Cream and no child or adult got out the door without being offered an ice cream cone.
In August of 2021 Pauline went to the Ruthven Care Center in Ruthven Iowa. The staff told us she was quite entertaining. Many of them referring to her as Polly. She passed away in the Spencer Municipal Hospital on October 26th 2021 at the age of 93 years, 10 months, one week and five days. It is said that the time she was born was the beginning of the Silent Generation, boy, they missed the mark with Polly.
Memories of Pauline will always be in hearts of children Pamela Rouse (Gary) of Spirit Lake, Paula Raper (Greg) of Spencer, William Muller (Deb) of Spencer, and Jay Muller (Janet) of Spirit Lake. 12 Grandchildren Sarah Muller (Joe) Navarre, FL. Kristoffer Sheley of Spencer, Rachel Steffen (Andy) Spencer, Eric Raper (Crystal) Spencer, Joshua Sheley (Kristin) Gilbert, AZ, Rebecca Moran (Ryan) Spencer, Lisa Raper, of Spencer, Julie Bendlin (Jimmy) Gillett Grove, Kathryn Fairbanks (Nick) Spencer, Abby Rutledge (Bill) Spencer, Amanda Muller (Muan) Spencer and Nick Sheley of Austin TX. 28 great-grandchildren. One sister Idelle Mastbergen of Sheldon, many nieces and nephews other relatives and friends.
Pauline is now continuing her journey with her loved ones who preceded her, George her husband of 63 years, her parents, her sisters Martha Kruse, Marguerite Bothof, Harriet Bothof, Dorothy Kooiker, Carol Getting other relatives and her beloved dog Sammy.
Her family and friends and even people she just met would enjoy her life stories and sharp wit. Pauline was committed to family and always singing “I love you, a bushel and a peck.”
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