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Joan A. Mueller

Joan A. Mueller passed away peacefully in the presence of her loving family on April 18, 2024, after a nine-month bout with cancer. She was 87 years old. She resided in the Belvedere-Tiburon peninsula for over 60 years.

She was born Joan Lynn Azevedo on August 27, 1936, in San Francisco, California, to parents Arthur Azevedo and Mary Evelyn Fountain Azevedo. She graduated from Stanford University in 1958 with a BA degree in Political Science and earned a position on the university‘s varsity tennis team. At Stanford, she met and then married Adolph Mueller II from Decatur, Illinois, in 1958. They had two sons, Frederick and Peter, and built a house near the point of Belvedere Island.

Joan was a devoted mother, homemaker, and volunteer. She served on the boards of Friends of the American Conservatory Theater and the Docent Council of the De Young Museum. She was a teacher and docent for the Avery Brundage Collection and a member of the Raccoon Branch of Marin General Hospital. She zealously chauffeured her sons to numerous sporting activities, especially Peter‘s numerous tennis tournaments and lessons.

When her husband entered the wine business, Joan designed the interiors and landscapes at their first winery, Souverain Cellars, in Rutherford (now Rutherford Hill) and then at Chateau Souverain in Geyserville (now Francis Ford Coppola Winery). Her accomplishments were featured by the Napa Valley Register on August 23, 1973, in an article entitled “Joan Mueller: Good Taste in a Tasting Room.”

She divorced her husband in 1976, moved to the Keil Cove area of Tiburon, and began a successful career as an interior designer. In 1995, Stanford University awarded Joan the prestigious “Block S Society” award for her achievements and participation in the varsity tennis team. Her father had received one in track and field, so she was understandably proud to carry on a family tradition. For many years, Joan supported The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show. She was a longtime member of the Belvedere Tennis Club and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF). She also served as president of the Belvedere-Tiburon Auxiliary for FAMSF. Joan gained great satisfaction providing and arranging flowers for her church, the Westminster Presbyterian Church, in Tiburon.

In December 2015, Joan was rear-ended while stopped on Tiburon Boulevard. She suffered a stroke during her recovery at Marin General Hospital. Nevertheless, she remained optimistic, kind, and appreciative of help received from others. She loved going to the Café Rulli for coffee, walking near Point Tiburon, seeing exhibits at the Legion of Honor, taking drives, and enjoying meals out with family and friends. She remained quite active until her cancer diagnosis and continued to be positive during this period.

Joan is survived by her family, all living in San Francisco, including her son, Peter Mueller; brother and sister-in-law, John and Barbara Azevedo; niece Karen Azevedo Carnahan (Brian); and great nieces, Juliana Sanguinetti and Lauren Sanguinetti Ragusa (Frank). She was predeceased by her parents and by her son Frederick. Her family will be forever grateful for the expert and compassionate care she received first from Junde Dennis and then Elvie Gazal (and her team: Marilyn, Jolly, Drei, and Lubert).

A celebration of Joan‘s life will be held in June. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.



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