Sarah Louise Middleton, 92, died on Sept. 5, 2012, at Scotia Village in Laurinburg.
A memorial service and celebration of her life and love of music is planned for a later date.
She was born in Logan, W.Va., on June 3, 1920, to the late Mazee Louise and Charles Mason Locke. She received her Bachelor’s degree in music at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. She studied piano at The Julliard School of Music in New York. She went on to earn her Master’s in Music Education from The George Peabody School for Teachers, which is now a Division of Vanderbilt University.
Due to WW II, she was forced to stop her studies at Julliard and began teaching music in the Shenandoah Valley of Va.
At age 27, Middleton left the comforts of the United States to go to Brazil as a short term missionary with the Women’s Division of the Board of Global Ministries of the Methodist Church. While on furlough in 1951, she met and married the late Reverend Loyde Middleton. Together they returned to Bolivia, South America, where they served as missionaries with the Methodist Church. During her years in Bolivia, she served as a teacher (English and Music), a women’s dormitory director, President of the Bolivian Methodist Women, coordinator for the first South American Methodist Women’s Conference and producer of a classical music radio show at La Cruz Del Sur (The Southern Cross radio station).
In 1968, Middleton and her husband Loyde, returned to the US, where together they served in the Virginia Conference of the UMC until their retirement in 1990. During this time in VA, she also taught Spanish in the Virginia School system.
Her love for music was always evident, initially as her excuse to make her sister Mary Jo clear the dinner table and wash the dishes while she diligently practiced the piano and later, through her studies at Marshall University and Julliard School of Music. She gave up her dream of one day being a concert pianist to go serve her Lord as a missionary. For all of us who were blessed to hear her play the piano or organ, we know she would have achieved her dream if she had chosen to pursue it.
She is survived by her sister, Mary Jo Hedrick and her brother-in-law, Charles B. of Cincinnati, Ohio, her daughter, Dr. Patricia Middleton of Rockingham, her son James Middleton and daughter-in-law, Dr. Lynne Wilcox, both of Atlanta, Ga., her grandson Martin Middleton of San Francisco, Calif, her granddaughter, Jennifer Middleton of Cambridge, Mass., her nephew Dr. Charles Hedrick of Newark, N.J. and her “adopted” daughter and family friend Ann Hudson of Rockingham, and her children, Robbie Hudson of Rockingham, and daughter Amy Hudson of Wilmington.
Online condolences may be made at www.carterfh.net