Hans Wilfried Muller,78, passed on to his heavenly rewards on Thursday, May 10, 2018, in Naples, Florida. Born on May 7, 1940, in Bacolod, Philippines to his Swiss parents Wilfred and Irma Roggenmoser Muller during World War II, his early years were spent hiding in the mountains of his adopted homeland during the Japanese invasion. When the family could safely return to Switzerland they resided in Zurich. After the war, the family returned to Manila. At the age of 16, Hans returned to Zurich. There he graduated from Riedtli High School and pursued higher education, earning his MBA from Glarisegg University. He also completed his military service in the Swiss National Army.
Flight was his passion from an early age. His first flying experience was in a Piper J-3 Cub on October 10, 1958. He learned the business side of the airline industry working for SwissAir. He decided to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot and worked his way through the ranks via flight training in Miami and further education in aeronautical engineering at Miami Dade College. He went on to become a flight instructor for various single- and multi-engine aircraft through 1973. Working as a commuter pilot for PBA/Naples Airlines from 1974 to 1978, he became Captain Muller, flying the DC-3, M-404, and C-402. In the meantime, Hans proudly earned his United States citizenship on July 5, 1976.
To get the jet training that he needed, he joined Tanzania Airlines. New York Air offered Hans his next professional opportunity. In 1981, Captain Muller brought his vast experience to Continental Airlines, including his amazing fluency in seven languages.
He was awarded United States Government medals for his service transporting American troops during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. On May 5, 2000, he flew his final flight. In the “Salute to the Captain” read to the passengers that day, he was acknowledged as having accumulated over 25,000 flight hours and holding type ratings on the M-202, M-404, DC-3, DC-9, and Boeing -707, 737, 747, 757, and 767 in domestic and international travel.
Hans will be missed by the dedicated members of the Quiet Birdmen, an international club made up primarily of retired male airline, military and freight pilots, as well as a few astronauts, after serving as the Key Man of the Hangar for several years. He was also the President of the Naples Flying Club for sixteen years. He will be dearly missed by his great friends at the Swiss American Club. His volunteer work at the Naples Therapeutic Riding Center was very important to him, as time there was also spent with his beloved wife.
Hans always considered one of his greatest accomplishments to be his wonderful marriage of 45 years to Carol Birch Muller. He is also survived by his cousins Peter and Klaus Dietrich. He was the beloved uncle of the seven Noonan children and their families. His cats Raisin and Sugar will miss him, too.
We salute our Captain on his “flight West”. Weather permitting, pilot friends will fly the “Missing Man” formation over the post-funeral reception site at approximately 3:00 p.m.