Jeffrey Muschler

Jeffrey Parker Muschler, age 65, passed away on March 17, 2021. He was born on August 21, 1956, the first of six children to Bob and Joan Muschler of Albert Lea, MN. As the oldest, the chaos of five younger siblings was at times too much to manage. One Easter upon the arrival of relatives Arthur and Audrey Muschler and their three children, Jeff managed to crawl on top of the refrigerator and when asked why he said, “I’m trying to get some peace and quiet!” Jeff was more comfortable listening and observing people which he did his whole life. Jeff graduated from Albert Lea Central High School in 1974 with honors. He then graduated with a degree in history from the University of Chicago. It was around that time he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. The often-misunderstood mental illness requires lifelong treatment and was the challenge he would deal with the rest of his life.  And he did.  Jeff went on to become a para-legal, a tax preparer, and continue to learn new skills. His illness constrained him due to the social aspects of work not his intellectual capabilities, which he would continue to feed and grow. His interests and hobbies fulfilled him including photography (for which he had a darkroom built in his parents basement), writing poetry (including published work in several regional magazines), and especially reading. There was not a time that he did not have reading on his mind, a book in hand, or sharing what he had read with family. His quiet, intelligent and dry sense of humor would surprise people, and then engage others in laughter. Jeff managed his illness well, living independently for 20 years in his apartment in Winona, MN, and he grew content with his passions and limitations. His friends (the breakfast club), family, and support from the Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center enabled him to live a comfortable and happy life for which we are all grateful.

Jeff is survived by his mother, Joan Muschler 94, and all his siblings; Ann Brehmer, Tom, Steve, Matt and Eric Muschler. In addition to 11 nieces and nephews all of whom grew to know his gentle nature, wit, and generous spirit. All of us are much better people for having known and learned from him.

A private family ceremony and blessing with be held at St. Theodore Catholic Church in Albert Lea. Plans are in the works for a family gathering this summer, post-COVID, to celebrate his life.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center, Development Coordinator, 420 East Sarnia Street, Suite 2100, Winona, MN 55987.

Online condolences may be left at

6 thoughts on “Jeffrey Muschler

  1. Dear Muschlers,
    I am so sorry to hear of Jeff’s death. He was such a gentle person.
    So many good memories of growing up with your whole family in Oakwood.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Ann Wolgamot

  2. Greeting Joanie and family,
    My sympathy to you in your loss. When I traveled to Owatonna each week with Bob we had many conversations about his son. Bob was very proud of his son. Thank you for speaking out about mental illness in Jeffrey’s obituary. Sadly, there is still so much stigma and as you speak out; others learn from your honesty. Peace and Love to each of you in your loss. Rose Olmsted

  3. I’m sad to learn of the news of Jeff’s passing. As a childhood friend and neighbor to the family I can recall many great memories growing up with Jeff. As we age and move away from people we will lose touch, but we never lose touch of how we felt being around someone. I always really liked Jeff. My prayers go out to his family.

  4. Dear Joan and family,
    I am sorry to hear of Jeff’s passing. So many memories from growing up on Oakwood Circle.
    Prayers to you.
    Jane Knudson

  5. Thanks be to God for Jeff’s wise and loving presence in the Muschler Family!! He will be missed!! Sending warms hugs of comfort to you Joanie and your beautiful family!!
    We’re so very grateful for our friendship!!
    Carol and David Larson

  6. Muschler’s-

    We are thinking about you all!

    Big hugs and prayers sent,

    Erika, Josh, Harper and Lincoln Goldsmith

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