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Archives Funeral rites held for Dr. John Middleton, 95

May 23, 2018

PLATTSBURGH – A Mass of Christian Burial for John Thomas Middleton, Ph.D., a Papal Medal of Honor recipient, was held May 17 at Our Lady of Victory Church.

Dr. Middleton died May 13 at the VNA Respite House in Colchester, Vermont. Burial was in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, West Chazy.

Born in Olney, Texas on February 19, 1926, he was the youngest of four children born to Ben and Ola (Davenport) Middleton.

Dr. Middleton lived at various residences in Texas before moving to the Chazy and Plattsburgh areas.

After joining the United States Navy Reserve at 17, he served during WWII and was medically discharged at age 19.  He attended several colleges and universities including colleges in Wichita Falls, Texas.

He worked as a psychologist and psychiatric social worker for the Texas Department of Mental Health.  He earned a Ph.D. from Florida State University and retired Professor Emeritus from SUNY Plattsburgh, where he taught marriage and family life courses and counseling.

Dr. Middleton was elected for membership to several professional associations and worked in numerous volunteer groups. The last years, he worked primarily in pro-life causes and was co-founder with his wife, Claire, of Champlain Valley Right to Life and Birthright.  He volunteered as a lay minister with the Catholic Church, a Critical Care EMT with the Chazy Volunteer Fire Department and as a driver for the Disabled American Veterans. 

At one time, John and Claire co-directed the Family Life Department of the Diocese of Ogdensburg.

Dr. Middleton received numerous awards and honors:  the Papal Medal of Honor from Pope Francis in 2013 for continuous service on behalf of unborn children, the 50th Anniversary Award from Wadhams Hall Seminary for exemplary devotion to pro-life causes, and the Terence Cardinal Cooke Award given by New York State Right to Life.

Dr. Middleton was featured in over 300 family life programs on Access Cable, participated in approximately 50 radio programs on Christian Radio, and enjoyed representing the conservative view in “Conflicting Opinions” in the Press Republican. 

For over 53 years, Dr. Middleton maintained a private practice in marriage counseling and psychotherapy. He was an active member of the Bishop Wadhams Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus Assembly 706.

In addition to his wife, Claire (Bastien) Middleton, Dr. Middleton is survived by four daughters, Karen, Marsha, Valeda, and Holly; three sons, Thomas, Frank, and John; 14 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, 5 great-great-grandchildren; as well as dear friends and family on both sides of the Canadian border. 

Memorial donations may be made to the Plattsburgh Pregnancy Center, 62 Brinkerhoff Street, Suite 103, Plattsburgh, NY 12901, http://www.plattsburghpregnancycenter.org.

Online condolences and memorial candles may be made at www.brownfuneralhomeinc.com

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