Born August 10, 1931 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul, Frank was the oldest child of Bill and Nellie Muelken. With his siblings, Jack, Gene and Eileen, Frank worked on the family farm throughout his youth; he graduated from Jordan High School in 1948. He entered the US Army in 1954 and was stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He then transferred to a chemical engineering corps in Chinon, France. Frank honed his bartending skills at the post’s Officers’ Club, in addition to his assigned duties. He returned home following his service, married Eileen and used his GI benefits to enroll at the University of Minnesota. When not attending classes, he worked as a bartender at the Wayzata Country Club, where he learned investment strategy from the club members. He graduated in 1960 with a BS degree in Business Administration and began working for the Internal Revenue Service.
Always ambitious, Frank soon pursued his law degree at William Mitchell College of Law. Working days for the IRS, attending classes at night and studying when he could (despite the antics of three rambunctious young daughters) he graduated with his Juris Doctor degree in 1968. He joined a Minneapolis law firm, and within a month had the opportunity to deliver an argument before the Minnesota Supreme Court. Case dismissed. After a few years, Frank opened a general law practice in Prior Lake, from which he recently retired. He firmly believed that every client, no matter their circumstance, was entitled to a strong, well-prepared defense. Frank additionally served on St. Michael’s Board of Education, the Glendale Town Board and the Savage Village Council.
Frequently approached by children of all ages who asked if he was Santa Claus, Frank would answer with a “ho ho ho,” and claimed to be one of Santa’s helpers. He delighted in donning his red Santa suit and entertaining at holiday gatherings. Blue eyes twinkling and grinning broadly, he always encouraged those in his presence to be “very, very good”. One of the highlights of his holiday season was the annual family trip to Cloquet to harvest Christmas trees, a tradition that his family will fondly continue.
Whether combing a Florida beach looking intently for perfect seashells, wandering deep into the woods or simply observing his bird feeder, Frank found a sense of freedom in nature. One of his greatest pleasures was picking cranberries from a small bog on the McCann family farm. He loved the earthy aroma, warm sun, buzzing bees and wet feet that resulted from a trip to the bog. And if he was able to pick a full bucket, that was even better. More recently he was intent on planting red clover to help preserve the bee population, and encouraging the growth of milkweed to support Monarch butterfly habitat.
Frank could often be found roaming the aisles at Menards where he was always looking for a deal. He found many. An expert rebater, he owned a drawer full of T-shirts monogrammed Menards.
Frank looked forward to the future. He was proud of his children and their spouses. His grandchildren were very important to him, and he enjoyed all opportunities to attend basketball games, recitals, school presentations, graduations and other events. When he could not attend, he always asked detailed questions making a great effort to keep track of everyone. Though his grandchildren have embarked on a multitude of career paths, they all share a common trait: a drive for excellence. This gift –his legacy–will continue for generations.
Frank is survived by Eileen Muelken and daughters, Mary (Marvin Schulte) van Muelken, Elizabeth (Wes) Davidson, Joan (Rob) Hosking; grandchildren, Michael Schulte van Muelken, Mathew Schulte van Muelken, Alexandra (Stephen) Braunlich, Brianna Theis, Katie Theis, Elena Huber, Anna Huber; sister, Eileen Muelken; brother, Jack (Linda) Muelken, and many nieces and nephews. Frank was preceded in death by parents, Bill and Nellie Muelken; brother and sister-in-law, Gene and Suzy Muelken; and his beloved dog, Sport.
Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 1:00 PM with visitation two hours prior at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Prior Lake. Frank will be laid to rest at Credit River Cemetery. Father Tom Walker will preside. Pall bearers will be Michael Schulte van Muelken, Mathew van Muelken, Wes Davidson, Rob Hosking, Leo Theis, and Stephen Braunlich.Print Obituary & Condolences