…peacefully in his sleep on June 10th. He was at home with his adopted granddaughter Nuan, whom he adored. He spent his last two years in Chiang Mai Thailand with his granddaughter and, the majority of the time, his son Peter. Although his health had been deteriorating significantly for some time, Peter believes they were some of his happiest years.
Mickey was born ‘George Kay Muennig’, but when his sister saw him in the hospital with his large ears, she exclaimed ‘He looks like Mickey Mouse!’, and the name stuck. Later in life he was sometimes referred to as ‘The White Elf’ because of his abundant frizzy white hair, funny stance, and one raised eyebrow. Mickey was an anomaly.
He had sharp wit, didn’t say much, but could conjure a funny line from leftfield, just when you were certain he wasn’t listening. He resided somewhere deep inside of himself; in his own world. He attended college for a degree in aeronautics but stumbled upon architecture. For Mickey, his life seemed to happen this way.
Architecture became his focus, passion, and it took precedence above everything. My childhood was spent driving across the country to see a Frank Lloyd Wright or Bruce Goff house in a snow blizzard while he drew floor plans in the condensation on the windshield, with my mother amidst a hysterical fit in the passenger’s seat for fear we would crash. I did a lot of praying.
Mickey came to Big Sur in the early 70’s to take a workshop at Esalen and returned home to announce that we, his wife and two children, were moving to Big Sur California. My parents were convinced Esalen workshops would save their marriage, but as was destined to happen, it disintegrated, and they soon parted ways. His architecture became a legend both in Big Sur and around the world. It was innovative, original, and he often forgot to add a closet. You can feel him within his structures.
If you all could do me the favor of passing it on to people he knew, it would be great. I don’t have contacts for the larger community. Thank you so much. / Michelle Muennig (Mickey’s daughter)