Carl Muller died peacefully on June 29th, 2020 in Orlando, Florida at age 72, with his wife of 48 years by his side.
Carl was born in Torrington, CT on March 12, 1948, son of the late Herman and Virginia (O’Connor) Muller. Carl grew up in Torrington, attended Southwest School and graduated from Torrington High School in 1966. He earned an associate’s degree from Graham Jr. College and went on to obtain his bachelor’s degree in business from New England College where he met his wife, Cara. He was a member of Lambda Epsilon Delta fraternity.
In 1971, Carl married Cara Fitzsimmons in Hartsdale, New York, and returned to Torrington. He taught Industrial Arts and Consumer Education at Pearson School in Winsted; all the while aspiring to be a small business owner and entrepreneur. His first business involved selling liquidation goods and carpet remnants through tag sales; first in his driveway and then at Wright’s Barn.
In August of 1974, he and his wife opened Springtree Lounge in Torrington. However, his love for closeout buying persisted and he, along with two partners, opened Haymarket Square in 1976. Later, he branched out on his own and opened Side Door Outlet, evolving into what is now known as Carl’s True Value Hardware. Throughout his career, he was also the owner of Carl’s True Value Hardware of Winsted and Harwinton and Carl’s Carpet One of Torrington, as well as several real estate properties throughout Torrington.
Carl was an avid golfer and long-time member of the Torrington Country Club. He was especially proud of getting a “hole-in-one” while golfing with friends in Florida. He also loved to travel and did so extensively with his wife early in their marriage. His most treasured trip was taking Cara and their children on a cross country tour in their motor home in 1988.
Carl was a longtime member of the Torrington -Winsted Rotary Club and was named a Paul Harris Fellow of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, the highest award bestowed by the Rotary Club. He co-founded the Torrington Rotary Golf Tournament in 1989. This fundraiser has since raised more than $1,250,000 to support college scholarships, local non-profits and international humanitarian projects. In the spirit of growing the game, the Rotary Junior Golf Championship was born, offering juniors from across the state an affordable opportunity to compete at Torrington Country Club.
Carl was a proud member of the Germania Singing Society where he felt grateful for making cherished connections with what he described as some of the most wonderful people in Torrington. He always said, “the Germ is like the treehouse I never had as a kid”.
Carl valued giving back to his community. He loved Torrington, he chose to raise his family in Torrington, and he concentrated all of his philanthropic efforts in Torrington. The creation of the Cara and Carl Muller Fund for Community Support is a direct result of his passion for giving.
At his core, Carl was a loving man who put his family first. He took every opportunity to offer guidance, support, and wisdom and to shower his wife, children, and grandchildren with love.
Carl is survived by his devoted wife, Cara Muller of Torrington, CT; children Cory Muller (Vanessa) of Norwalk, CT, Erin Barber (Rory) of Melbourne, FL, grandchildren Layla and Avery Muller, Cole and Caledonia Barber, and several beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
A Celebration of Carl’s Life will be held at a later date when Covid restrictions are lifted. In lieu of flowers, kindly make donations to the Cara and Carl Muller Fund for Community Support, or to the Torrington-Winsted Rotary Fund; both in care of Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation of P.O. Box 1144, Torrington, CT 06790. Online memorials www.phalenfuneral.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Carl Muller, please visit our floral store.