Richard Joseph Muller

Date of Birth

October 21, 1942

Date of Death

August 10, 2023

City of Death

Santa Barbara, CA

It is with heavy hearts that we share the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend.  Richard Joseph “Dick” Muller peacefully passed away on August 10th, 2023 in Santa Barbara, California.

Dick was born on October 21, 1942 in Chehalis, Washington where he was the fourth of sixth children born to Ida Gross Muller and Joseph Muller.  Early in his childhood, his parents moved their family to a farm in the small town of Napavine, Washington where he grew up.  He graduated from Napavine High School, one of sixteen in his graduating class.  Throughout his life, Dick entertained many with childhood stories of fun times on the farm and of living in a small town.

Following high school, Dick joined the Air Force.  He proudly served the United States from 1960-1964 as Air Police where he was based in Okinawa, Japan and guarded the B-52’s.  Throughout his life, he truly cherished his time serving our country and spoke of it often.  After leaving the Air Force, he moved to Santa Barbara where he met the love of his life.  In August of 1967 he married Annette Aharonian and several years later he became a father to their only child, Becky.

Dick is known to many as the longstanding owner of Santa Barbara’s two well-loved Fosters Freeze restaurants.  He very much enjoyed working with and mentoring the many high school and college aged employees that worked for him, a role that meant a great deal to him throughout his life.

In his spare time, Dick volunteered as an umpire for Little League and a referee for the local high school football teams.  In the early years of marriage, he and Annette bowled weekly in a league.  He enjoyed snow skiing, waterskiing, biking and fishing.  He taught many to waterski in the family boat and hosted many memorable ski trips at Mammoth Mountain.  He and Annette were avid collectors of vintage Porsche 356 cars, having fully restored four gorgeous ones.  They were very involved in the Porsche Club where they met many of their lifelong friends.  Dick loved to travel – In their early retirement years, Dick and Annette enjoyed dozens of road trips across the country in their RV as well as many fabulous European adventures.

Without question, Dick’s proudest accomplishment was his family!  A committed, always-present and exemplary husband and father, his family made his world go-around!  He truly adored his wife and daughter and the feeling was mutual!  As the family grew, he enjoyed many happy times with his grandsons and son-in-law.  He was a beloved grandfather, known as “Poppy”, to his two grandsons and loved playing with them and making them pancake breakfasts.

Dick was a friend to all – An incredibly kind man with a big heart and a great personality.  He valued honesty and integrity and will be sorely missed.

Dick is survived by his wife of nearly 56 years Annette Muller, daughter Becky Bruno, son-in-law Christopher Bruno and grandsons Thomas and Matthew Bruno.  He is also survived by his siblings and their families:  Bertha Bluhm, Marie Kohse, Joe Muller, Leroy Mueller, Christine Muller, and 16 nieces and nephews.

Dick will be buried at the Santa Barbara Cemetery and will receive a military funeral honors ceremony.  A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, September 10th.  For details and to RSVP, please contact Becky Bruno at:

The family would like to thank his hospice nurses, doctors, caregivers and the many friends who have lent their support during this difficult time.


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