NEW PARIS, Ind. - Klaus P. Mueller, a manufacturing pioneer for KMC Controls, passed away July 9, 2006, following a brief illness. He was 78.

Born in Doebeln, Germany, Mueller immigrated to Goshen, Ind., in 1957 with his wife and family. Upon arriving in the United States, he worked for Robertshaw Controls where he met Ken Kreuter (deceased); the two formed Kreuter Manufacturing Co. in New Paris.

Kreuter developed the engineering and sales portion of the business, while Mueller built the manufacturing infrastructure. In 1989, Kreuter Engineering and Kreuter Manufacturing became collectively known as KMC Controls. According to the company, Mueller expanded manufacturing operations to more than 100,000 square feet.

In 1984, the governor of Indiana presented Mueller with the Sagamore of the Wabash award, an Indiana tradition that recognizes significant social contributions by citizens. In 1999, he was honored as the New Paris Citizen of the Year, for which he was nominated by 100 of his employees.

Mueller retired from KMC in 2001. He served on the committee that brought about the establishment of the New Paris Medical Clinic, helped establish and served on the New Paris Sewer Conservancy, and served a term on the Elkhart County Park Board. In 2004, KMC Controls presented Mueller with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Today, two of Mueller's children work at KMC. Joerg Mueller is vice president of Manufacturing, and Klaus D. Mueller is production scheduler.

Publication date: 08/07/2006