CHAMPAIGN — Lois Virginia Middleton (nee Woodbeck), 93, died Tuesday (Nov. 13, 2018) of natural causes at her Champaign home with her son and daughter at her side.
She follows Glenn Robert — her husband, partner, companion and friend of nearly 72 years — into God's presence after a brief sojourn of five months. Lois tarried long enough to enjoy the birth of her first great-grandson, Liam; say many goodbyes to grandchildren, family and friends; collect a final “I VOTED” sticker; and count the blessings of a long life well-lived.
Lois was born Oct. 16, 1925. She graduated from Danville High School and married Glenn on July 18, 1946.
Her son, Mark L. Middleton (Paula Massey) of Champaign, and daughter, Marcia Middleton-Kaplan (Richard) of Walla Walla, Wash., greatly mourn her departure. Her grandchildren, Christopher and Philip (Megan) Middleton, Julie (Kyle Grove), Nicholas and Amy Balazs, miss their beloved grandmother and share the pangs of loss. She also leaves behind a beloved nephew, nieces, cousins and their families.
As a member of “the greatest generation,” Lois bestowed a legacy of strong family values, love of country, the importance of education and the arts and compassion for the under-privileged and less fortunate, all buttressed by an abiding faith in the power of kindness and "the Golden Rule."
In early years, Lois was a young thespian with Danville's Red Mask Players under the direction of Kathryn Randolph. She starred in the title role of their production of the hit 1943 Broadway play, Claudia. In those bygone days, she was also microphone host at a local radio station. She graduated from business college and rose through corporate ranks to become vice president of Sander Allen Advertising agency in Chicago, where she was the executive in charge of radio, television and print media production and media purchasing. She retired from the firm in the mid-1980s.
She and Glenn competed for nearly 30 years in local duplicate bridge clubs and regional tournaments, working toward their Life Master points. They made many enduring friendships over the card tables, bidding Blackwood and exotic ACBL conventions.
They enjoyed travel and rustic camping during their annual road trips to Washington state. Chess, classic movies and Fighting Illini basketball entertained them in the last years. Lois excelled at the daily ritual challenge of the crossword puzzle. She loved her garden and the diverse birds who flocked to her feeders and fountain, especially the hummingbirds and finches. She looked forward to the annual return of the indigo buntings.
Her family extends heartfelt thanks to the physicians and staff of the OSF hospital, Christie Clinic and Transitions Hospice for their support during her remaining embrace of life. In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorial contributions may be made to Danville's Red Mask Players or a charity of choice.
Family will greet visitors at 3 p.m. Dec. 1, 2018, at Renner-Wikoff Chapel, 1900 S. Philo Road, Urbana, with a celebration of life memorial service for Lois and Glenn to follow at 3:30 p.m. After the service, the family will host a dinner reception. Private interment will occur in Floral Hill Cemetery, Hoopeston, at a later date.