Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone reads an account of the life of the late Marvin Martin Mueller’s life during Tuesday evening’s Los Alamos County Council meeting. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County Council honored the late Marvin Martin Mueller Tuesday evening as Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone spoke of a scholarship that has been created in Mueller’s name and read details of his life.
Sgambellone said he has been working with Mueller’s family since he died in 2015 and although the family lives out of state Sgambellone told them he wanted to recognize them publicly.
“Several months ago, I was approached by the family regarding a potential educational scholarship opportunity specifically supporting Los Alamos County Police Department employees and their family members. The Marvin Martin Mueller Endowed Memorial Scholarship was ultimately established as a privately-created scholarship fund managed by the LANL Foundation,” he said. “On behalf of the Los Alamos Police Department, I wanted to express my appreciation for the scholarship as well as to publicly recognize the benefactor, Mr. Marvin M. Mueller, who passed away in his White Rock home in February of 2015 at the age of 86.”
Chief Sgambellone read the following account of Mueller’s life:
Marvin Martin Mueller was born on Sept. 29, 1928, in Broken Arrow, Oklah., the first of two sons born to Elsie (Peper) and Martin J. Mueller. He was a quiet, precocious child who decided to become a mathematician or a physicist while in junior high school and he never wavered from that goal. Marvin and his brother started working evenings after school at an early age. Marvin worked for many years at a local drugstore where a wealthy patron recognized his potential and offered to loan him money to go to college. Marvin accepted the offer and entered the University of Oklahoma, while continuing to help out at home working double shifts at the drug store.
Marvin would ultimately receive his BS degree in mathematics and physics in 1951. Marvin completed his PhD in physics in 1957 and subsequently applied to the Los Alamos National Laboratory where he would work for the next 35 years.
Marvin loved working at the lab and enormously enjoyed living in northern New Mexico. Marvin was always a generous person who was willing to help others in need. He also had several strong interests outside of physics, most notably, philosophy. In later years his philosophical interests gravitated toward the Humanist movement.
Perhaps it was this newly found-interest combined with his generous nature that moved him to want to make life better for his fellow human beings. Thus, in his will he specified that most of his assets were to be donated to scientific organizations, especially those involved in the teaching of science, human rights groups, and to numerous charities each of which helped people in one way or another. This desire to help others, along with feeling a debt of gratitude to the police department for their help in bringing some criminals to justice, led to the establishment of the Marvin Martin Mueller Endowed Memorial Scholarship.