Mueller, Catherine "Cate" Tinkler

U.S. Navy Veteran And Certified Master Gardener

  • Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Catherine "Cate" Tinkler Mueller
Catherine "Cate" Tinkler Mueller

Captain Catherine "Cate" Tinkler Mueller died on May 10, 2024.

Born in Knoxville to Professor John and Mary Tinkler, she moved to Chattanooga in 1967.

As a child attending the Bright School Cate excelled in gymnastics including being an overall Tennessee state champion. Cate also excelled academically as a co-valedictorian from Girls Preparatory School (1983), earned a B.A. (1987) from Duke University and masters degrees from American University (1996) and the Naval War College (2006).

After receiving her commission as an ensign through the Naval ROTC program at Duke, her first assignment in the Navy was as a Communications Officer at San Miguel, Philippines. Upon returning to the States, Cate transitioned into the Navy Public Affairs community, where she spent the rest of her Navy career, retiring as a Captain. Highlights included time as a Public Affairs Officer for Commander Naval Logistics Group Pacific in Singapore and Commander Sixth Fleet in Gaeta, Italy. Cate first perfected her media relations skills as a spokesman for the US Atlantic Fleet and later as the head of the Navy’s News Desk in the Pentagon, where she survived the 9/11 terrorist attack.

In retirement she worked as a civilian at the U.S. Navy History and Heritage Command in Washington, DC, until retiring to Chattanooga in 2015. She pursued her love for gardening, becoming a certified master gardener. She was involved in veteran’s affairs in Chattanooga, working on the opening and dedication of the Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center and moving war memorials being relocated from Patten Parkway. She was an active member and officer of the Nancy Ward Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. She served as a lector at the Basilica of Ss Peter and Paul.

She was preceded in death by her parents and is survived by her husband, Daniel Mueller, sons, Mitchell and Patrick (Gabriella), daughters, Caroline and Mary Elizabeth, and brother, Michael Tinkler.

Visiting hours will be from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday, June 16, at Hamilton Funeral Home and Cremation Service (4506 Hixson Pike). A Mass of Christian burial will be on Monday, June 17, at the Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul at 214 E Eighth Street at 9:30 a.m. Military funeral honors ceremony and interment will follow at the Chattanooga National Cemetery at 11 a.m. at 1200 Bailey Ave., Chattanooga.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, P.O. Box 11467, Chattanooga, Tn. 37401 or Catholic Charities of East Tennessee at https://ccetn.org/donate/.

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