Charles Lyons Middleton

September 20, 1939 ~ April 14, 2020 (age 80)


Charles L. Middleton, 80, of Champaign, Illinois, passed away on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at Carle Hospital in Urbana, Illinois.

Charlie is survived by his best friend and partner of over thirty years, Marcia Miller, four sons, Kirk, Henry, Jason (Jessica) and David (Alicia), step daughters Amy (Steve) and Jennifer (Jeff), fourteen grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.  Also, brothers Terry and John, and sisters Voncile and Debbie.  He was proceeded in death by his parents, brothers Harold (Bully), Clarence (Whack), Paul, and sisters Lucy, Irma and Mildred.

Charlie was born September 20, 1939 in Sunflower, Alabama to Clarence and Daisy (Keith) Middleton.  He grew up in McIntosh, Alabama and moved to Mahomet when he was 16.  He will be remembered as a fun loving, Dad, Grandfather, Great Grandfather and truly enjoyed family. He was a die-hard Cub fan who rarely missed a televised game and an ardent BAMA fan.  He will be missed by all and remembered as a person you could always count on to be there for any kind of help, and for his kindness and generosity.

Charlie graduated from Mahomet-Seymour High.  He was a painter at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for 30 years retiring in 1996.  He liked to take things that were shabby and make them look new again.  He served as an employee representative of the State Universities Civil Service Advisory Committee and took pride in helping employees through difficult employment situations.  Just days after his retirement he joined a few of his retired friends and went back to work painting houses.  Dad worked as a painter up to his 80th birthday.  He got a great deal of satisfaction from a job well done. 

Due to the current situation with COVID-19, there will be a memorial service at a later date before he returns home to be laid to rest in his beloved McIntosh, Alabama.   

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Marjorie M. Beasley Civil Service Employee’s Scholarship Fund through the University of Illinois Foundation Charlie worked tirelessly with the UIUC representatives of the State Universities Civil Service Advisory Committee to establish this fund in 1984.

Remembering Dad

by Jason Middledton

Charlie was a painter-he took great pride in taking things that were shabby and making them look new again.  He always said he enjoyed painting, because when you look back at a room you just finished, it was better than when you walked into it. He would say “Take a picture; it will never look the same again.” After completing his apprenticeship program, he started his painting career at the University of Illinois Physical Plant, working in the sign shop. He served as an elected employee representative of the State Universities Civil Service advisory committee, a sub-foreman and retired as the shop foreman. After a little over 30 years he retired. Just days after his retirement he joined up with a few of his retired friends and went back to work painting houses. Dad worked as a painter up to his 80th birthday  He got a great deal of satisfaction and pride from a job well done, which was his greatest lesson to me and those around him. 

I remember my first day of a real job, I had de-tasseled corn a couple of summers, but now I was going to work for the grounds department at the University of Illinois.  Dad drove me to my first day, and before I got out of the car he said to me, “Keep your mouth shut and do your job.”  It wasn’t harsh, but matter of fact.  He knew the importance of working hard and being a good employee, work was important to Dad, and he wanted to instill that in me.  He did, and I am much more successful as a man, a husband, a father, and a grandfather because of it. 

He had many sayings that he imparted to my brothers and I through the years.  When we would complain about each other he would remind us that, “He’s not heavy, he’s your brother.”  He wanted us to always get along and be friends as well as brothers.  He loved us equally and took enormous pride in our accomplishments large and small.  When we were growing up, we used to vacation in a little resort in Northwestern Wisconsin.  He would take one of us out fishing each day and we would visit this little protected cove.  He told each of us this was our own secret spot.  It wasn’t until we were older that we learned we all had the same spot.

Dad was who he was, comfortable in his own skin.  He enjoyed being around people.  He had many friends and seemed to know someone wherever we went.  He was exactly what a young man needed as he made his way in the world.  I love you Dad and miss you so very much.

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