Robert M. Middleton
Robert (Bob) Middleton, 85, died Wednesday, September 30, at home with his wife and son at his side.
Bob was born in Nampa and lived his entire life in Idaho. He served in both the Marine Corps Reserve and the Marine Corps, part of that time in Korea right after the Armistice. After being discharged from the Marine Corps, and working in several different jobs, he chose the insurance industry, and retired from Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Company after having worked as a District Sales Manager for many years. He enjoyed working in the Insurance field, and particularly enjoyed working for Mutual of Enumclaw, where he made many friends among coworkers and agents over the years.
Bob suffered for many years with Parkinson’s Disease. As the disease progressed and he became increasingly disabled, he coped with the challenges by doing what he could, and he never complained about the losses. He faced the disease with courage, and never once in all those years complained. He was kind and thoughtful through it all. He was a truly amazing individual who will be missed by all who knew him.
Bob made good use of his time and energy until his Parkinson’s became advanced. It was during this time that he made some of his most important contributions to his community. After he retired and built his shop, he spent his time building decks and furniture for friends of friends for several years. Then he discovered St. Mary’s Food Bank, or they may have discovered him.
Bob loved the Food Bank and made many wonderful friends while he volunteered there. He was in his element. He replaced the old carpet in the reception area with tile, and helped to paint the area, all the while loading and transporting groceries in his pickup. When he wasn’t loading groceries, he was busy helping to build the shelves the groceries were stored on. As food bank clientele increased, Bob and the other volunteers kept building to keep up with the expansion. He loved the work and the fellowship, and it was one of the happiest times of his life.
Sadly, Parkinson’s Disease is progressive, and these happy times did not last. He was still able for a time to continue working in his shop with a friend building toy car that the Boise Woodworkers’ Association in Boise provided to hospitals for children to decorate.
Bob made the most of his life, and for the last couple years he was able to spend many hours reading mysteries and watching TV, which he also enjoyed, even though he wished he could be working in his shop. A life well lived really sums up Bob’s life. It was a privilege to be a part of that life.
Bob is survived by his wife of 56 years, his sister, Peggy, 3 children, 15 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, and his brother, Sidney, who died in the submarine Thresher tragedy.
A private memorial service in his honor will be held at the Veteran’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 4777, New York, NY 10163, or the St. Mary’s Foodbank, 2612 W. State St., Boise, ID. 83702.
Bob’s family would like to extend a heart-felt thank you to the nurses and other personnel of the Encompass Health Hospice who helped Bob. You made Bob’s final days so much more comfortable, and also made the time much less traumatic for his family – thank you so much.
Arrangements are under the direction of Bowman Funeral Parlor of Garden City.