The name Don Mueller probably isn’t well known to many WFMT listeners. As director of operations, he worked behind-the-scenes, responsible for quality assurance and distribution of syndicated programming, maintenance of satellite uplinks between WFMT and network syndicates, and directing live broadcasts, like Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Operathon, the North Shore Chamber Music Festival, Make Music Chicago, and many others. He did all of this, and more, with a smile on his face.
The only thing he loved more than working for WFMT was his family, whom he talked about often.
Don lived in the Chicago area most of his life. He grew up on a small farm west of Aurora, went to technical college nearby, and worked for Wurlitzer for a time before co-owning and managing a recording studio in the early ’80s. Don began working for WFMT in 1986 as a distribution assistant, sending huge reel-to-reel tapes out to our affiliates. He soon worked his way up to distribution manager and eventually director of operations for WFMT. When he retired in early 2016, he fulfilled his dreams of owning an RV and settling down in the Tuscon area.
Don died on Monday, June 29, 2020. Many of us at WFMT owe our careers to Don. He will be deeply missed.