On November 24, 1924, Muriel Stehl was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, the youngest of eight children, to Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Converse.
While her parents were trying to support eight children, there wasn’t a great amount of money. After high school, Muriel enlisted in the United States Navy. While she was at boot camp, she was found to have great talent in her assignments.
“I didn’t realize then that it was a gift,” she said.
When the time came to either re-enlist or move back home, she packed her things for New York.
“I wanted out, but I made a big mistake. I would have been better off if I had stayed.”
Beyond the Military
Upon arriving home, she went to work for Chermayeff & Geismar, a graphic design firm specializing in developing trademarks, print, exhibitions, and art in architecture. In addition, the company assisted her through schooling at Hunter College, where she was prepared to be a service person.
“I was hot for organization,” she said. “Chermayeff was superior to all others in his field.”
Muriel served as his secretary, answering phone calls and filtering what he didn’t care to receive.
“He was a busy man – always on the phone – so I would ask him if he wanted coffee by writing a note saying ‘Coffee? Check yes or no.’ That worked real well for a while.”
Through her work, she met a man named George Stehl, a gifted industrial designer. They began seeing each other shortly after meeting. Together, they traveled to South Carolina. While there, they visited a junk shop where Muriel found a fan that she wanted for 50 cents.
“When George saw it, he understood what went into the design. He said I had taste and sensitivity and was worth marrying,” she recalls.
The couple married and lived in New York City for a while. George never liked the city, however.
“George would say: ‘It’s loaded with ambitious people that are always looking for other people’s errors,’” according to Muriel.
George became quite fed up with his employer’s lack of talent. He had been receiving letters from a woman who had an interest in George’s work. In these letters, she told him of Maine and its beauty. George decided to visit Maine to have a look. Remembering this, Muriel said, “When he returned home, he said, ‘You might as well quit your job. We’re moving to Maine.’"
Now a resident at Maine Veterans’ Homes - Machias, Muriel Stehl has been named July Veteran of the Month. Thank you for your service, Muriel.
About Maine Veterans' Homes
The six Maine Veterans’ Homes locations not only provide assisted living residential care and short-term skilled nursing care, but they also offer rehabilitation and therapy programs. MVH Bangor, especially, provides an extensive rehab program for both residents and non-residents. Download our MVH Guide to Rehab & Therapy >>>