July 26, 1953-May 22, 2018
CORALVILLE, Iowa - Michael Matthew "Moon" Mullen, of Coralville, Iowa, passed away May 22, 2018, in Sanford, Florida, after a long battle with cancer.
First born to John and Emmajean (Aardal) Mullen on July 26, 1953, in Waverly, Iowa, the family moved to Davenport, Iowa, in 1959. Mike was a member of the football and swim teams at Davenport Central High School, graduating in 1971. He also enjoyed his membership in the Jack Leabo Fan Club at CHS.
After high school, Mike studied engineering at the University of Iowa before enlisting in the U.S. Army. Mike served as a field radio mechanic from 1972-1975 in Colorado and South Korea.
It was in Korea that Mike discovered two of his life's passions: playing banjo and bicycling. Stationed at Camp Hovey near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), he taught himself to play banjo, and went to Seoul on his first leave to buy a bicycle, beginning a life on two wheels.
Returning to Iowa City after his Army tour, these passions came to great fruition along the many miles of Iowa's great bike ride, RAGBRAI (the Des Moines Register's Great Bike Ride Across Iowa). Mike rode RAGBRAI 41 times. Along the route, Mike would play for his fellow riders and wrote "The RAGBRAI Song." He was known and loved by the RAGBRAI community as Moon the banjo man, and his presence will be greatly missed along this year's ride.
Mike's other loves included reading the novels of Charles Dickens, skiing at Keystone, and attending horse races.
Mike is survived by his sisters, Susan Burdette (Robert), Sanford, Fla.; Barbara Kuttler (Steven) of Davenport and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; brothers, Tom Mullen (Robin) of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; and Patrick Mullen (Ann Marie) of Metuchen, N.J.; eleven nieces and nephews; his much loved aunt, Joann Nelsen of Moline, Ill.; and many beloved cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents. Mike will be loved and missed as a dear brother and uncle, and will be remembered fondly by a wider circle of friends, cyclists, and music lovers.
Memorial service and interment at the National Cemetery, Rock Island, will be announced at a later date.