Verne Luther Middleton, 89, formerly of the area, passed away Friday, July 20, 2018 at Highlands Health and Rehabilitation Center in Scottsboro, AL. Verne entered into heaven's joys, confident in the blessed assurance of his Savior's redeeming love.
Born in Danville on April 8, 1929, he was the son of Verne and Lillian (Davis) Middleton.
A part of "The Greatest Generation:, Verne followed his two older brothers into military service at the end of WWII by immediately enlisting in the 82nd Airborne Division upon graduating from high school. He faithfully served his nation while assisting the people of occupied Japan in Sendai. Fearless in adherence to duty, Sergeant Middleton never failed to confront higher ranked officers where situations warranted.
His career began as a boatman on the Illinois and Missouri Rivers' barges, but he soon found a job as a line mechanic for Olin. He was later assigned to NASA contact work curriculum for applied hydraulic and lubricant engineering studies at Northeast Alabama Community College.
Verne always made time for young people to encourage physical fitness and sportsmanship. He was a super sports booster for the Roxana Shells. he was to be affectionately known as "The Shell Man".
He married Rita Rawlings, following his return from the military, on October 7, 1955,
He is survived by his children, Scott (Paula) Middleton, Lori Ann (Jack) Tellor, Amy Lynn (Michael) Williams; grandchildren, Claire Erin (Brad), Katie (Mikey), Matthew (Lauren), Ben, Brendan and Brynn; step-grandchildren, Jason (Nicola) Tellor, Janna (Luke) Chesnut; eight great grandchildren; nephew, Mark (Paula); nieces, Cheri (Larry), Marcia (Richard); several cousins and their families.
His parents; wife of 55 years; and older brothers, Martin Everette and Glenn Robert Middleton preceded in death.
Visitation will be from 10 am until time of service and burial at 11 am, Friday, July 27, 2018 at the chapel in Rose Lawn Memory Gardens in Bethalto. Mr. Jim Kabitzki will officiate.
Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association.
Marks Mortuary in Wood River is in charge of arrangements.