A remembrance: Gary Thomas Mueller

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Dr. Gary Thomas Mueller transitioned on Friday, Nov. 15. He loved the Colorado outdoors, laughing, learning, music, fine wine, creating gourmet meals and best of all — sharing his life with Suzanne, his wife, their four-legged children and his closely held friends.

Gary was raised in the suburbs of Detroit in the Catholic tradition, which always stayed with him. His thirst for understanding a deeper connection with the Divine drew him to learn from many masters of other traditions and practices — and masters were drawn to him as a student.

Among his direct teachers were Fritz Perls, founder of Gestalt therapy, and Alexander Lowen and John Pierrakos, MD, founders of the bioenergetics movement. While serving in Vietnam, amidst the craziness of war, Gary met and spent time with a Buddhist monk and his family, which ultimately laid the groundwork to transform his life. This is where Gary first learned to mediate. When Gary returned to Michigan, he continued his Buddhist meditation practice and ultimately became a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in Boulder.

Gary was also deeply connected to Native American traditions, practiced with Lakota leaders and was given the high honor of becoming a Pipe Carrier. Gary also studied with Claudio Naranjo, a Chilean psychiatrist who developed the Enneagram and was considered a pioneer in integrating psychotherapy and the spiritual traditions.

Following in the lineage of Naranjo, Gary developed a psychotherapy practice in Boulder that incorporated all the teachings of his masters and his own innate wisdom. For more than 30 years Gary followed his greatest passion — helping many hundreds of people overcome their life’s challenges and find their path forward.

At Naropa University, Gary worked as an adjunct professor of Gestalt therapy for 17 years. One of his most treasured honors was being voted by the students as “Professor of the Year” in 2001. In addition, Gary generously shared his passion by mentoring many newer therapists.

During the last five years of Gary’s life, his exposure to Agent Orange and other deadly toxins while serving in Vietnam slowly took hold throughout his body in the form of Lewy Dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Gary ultimately demonstrated the true meaning of “warriorship” as he boldly navigated the mental and physical challenges he faced every day by anchoring himself through his rich training and spiritual practices.

Gary is deeply missed by his wife, Suzanne Isaacs, who cared for him at home during his illness; his four-legged children Meera, Sheba and Kittie; and the many other people who loved him dearly. A memorial service to celebrate and honor Gary is being held at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 9 in the Chautauqua Community House in Boulder.

Donations can be given in Gary’s memory to the Mountain View Fire Protection District in Longmont, which cheerfully came to Gary’s aid numerous times for “lift assist,” or to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, which provided the awareness and knowledge to successfully navigate through Gary’s disease process with compassion and understanding. Visit www.ahlbergfuneralchapel.com to share condolences.